Bayern Munich have signed 20-year-old Netherlands midfielder and the Ajax academy graduate Ryan Gravenberch on a five-year deal, the German champions announced earlier this week.

The Bavarian giants said the 20-year-old Gravenberch signed a contract until 2027.
The media have reported that Bayern paid 18.5 million euros to Ajax for the player, with bonus conditions attached. Dutch media reported Ajax would be due 7.5% of any sell-on fee.

“Gravenberch is a young, highly interesting player who lots of Europe’s top clubs would’ve liked to have signed. He’s chosen FC Bayern because he can develop at the highest level here,” Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn said.

Gravenberch came through Ajax’s productive youth academy, made his senior team debut at 16 and racked up 103 appearances. He won three Dutch league titles and two Dutch Cups with Ajax, where he had a contract to 2023.

Gravenberch made his Netherlands debut last year and has 10 appearances for the national team.

“When the offer came from Bayern, I didn’t have to think about it for long,” Gravenberch said. “Bayern are one of the biggest clubs around; players from all over the world want to play for this club.

“I’m coming to Munich to win lots of titles, and Bayern are used to winning lots of titles. Anything is possible with this club, including winning the Champions League. The togetherness in this team is strong, which I like.”

Having joined the Ajax academy at the age of eight and scored on his first competitive start in the opening round of 2018/19 Dutch Cup eight years later, Gravenberch became a significant player on the senior scene at Ajax in 2020/21.

The 6’2″ midfielder won a domestic double in his first full season with the pros and was an integral part of the side that topped their UEFA Champions League group ahead of Sporting Lisbon, Borussia Dortmund and Besiktas the next campaign.

“He’s one of the biggest talents in Europe, has superb technical ability, always finds solutions in tight spaces, is very dynamic and a goal threat,” Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said.

He joins former Ajax teammate Noussair Mazraoui, whom Bayern already signed on a free transfer on May 24.

Gravenberch is from footballing stock. His parents played amateur football, while older brother Danzell currently plies his trade in the Dutch second tier with De Graafschap.

The midfielder had been linked with a move to Manchester United, where he would have been reunited with his former Ajax boss Eric ten Hag but said he has a good feeling about Bayern.

Gravenberch said: “Manchester United is a very big and beautiful club. But I already had such a good feeling at Bayern, and I had given my word.”