Pavel Nedved says Sampdoria striker Patrik Schick can become the next Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to his world-class potential, as Juventus look increasingly likely to win the race for his signature.
The 21-year-old Sampdoria forward impressed in his first Serie A season after joining from Sparta Prague ahead of the 2016-17 campaign, scoring 11 goals in 32 league appearances, just 14 of which were starts.
Schick, who has a reported €25million release clause, has also been linked with Inter, Napoli, Roma and a host of Premier League clubs.
But Samp president Massimo Ferrero and Inter technical director Walter Sabatini, both speaking this week, have revealed Juve have won the race to sign him.
Juve vice-chairman Nedved insists the deal is not done, but hailed Schick's ability, comparing him to the club's former star Ibrahimovic, now at Manchester United.
"Patrik has had a wonderful season," Nedved told Denik.
"He has managed to do a lot of great things for his age – he has scored 11 goals.
"Schick has a great future in front of him. Right now he doesn't have the muscles, but you can just imagine him in two or three years.
"He reminds me of Zlatan Ibrahimovic because he was like that when he came to Juve. He didn't have the muscles either.
"Then Zlatan gained muscles and turned into a world-class striker. Schick is also this type of striker – great feet, tall and fast.
"If Patrik keeps improving himself he can turn into a world-class striker as well."
Asked how close a deal was, Nedved said: "We are not the only club following him - there is interest from clubs in Germany, England, Spain and Italy.
"Schick is still a Sampdoria player. The price is clear though, because of his release clause.
"Anyone who is willing to activate it is able to buy him. It is a very simple transfer. All you have to do is convince the player to join you."