Gabriel Barbosa, Marcus Rashford and Renato Sanches are among the nominees to win the 2016 Golden Boy award.
The annual prize – established by Italian newspaper Tuttosport in 2003 and voted for by a panel of journalists from around the continent – is given to the player under the age of 21 who has impressed the most over the calendar year Europe.
Brazil forward Gabriel, known as Gabigol, recently joined Inter and is named on the 40-man shortlist for the award – which a player can only win once – along with Bayern Munich and Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches.
Manchester United and England striker Rashford is another candidate, along with Sanches’ Bayern team-mate Kingsley Coman – who starred for France at Euro 2016 – and Real Madrid rising star Marco Asensio.
Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli, AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and Borussia Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele are also in the running, as are Manchester City duo Kelechi Iheanacho and Leroy Sane and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi.
United forward Anthony Martial won last year’s award, following up successes by Paul Pogba and Raheem Sterling in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi was the winner back in 2005, one year after Wayne Rooney took the honour. Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, though, never claimed the prize.
GOLDEN BOY 2016 SHORTLIST
Dele Alli (Tottenham), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Leon Bailey (Genk), Riechedly Bazoer (Ajax), Gabriel Boschilia (Monaco), Julian Brandt (Leverkusen), Carlos Fernandez (Sevilla), Andreas Christensen (Borussia Monchengladbach), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ante Coric (Dinamo Zagreb), Amadou Diawara (Napoli), Mahmoud Dahoud (Borussia Monchengladbach), Danilo Barbosa (Benfica), Moussa Dembele (Celtic), Ousmane Dembele (Dortmund), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Gabriel Barbosa (Inter), Aleksandr Golovin (CSKA Moscow), Goncalo Guedes (Benfica), Demarai Gray (Leicester City), Marko Grujic (Liverpool), Alen Halilovic (Hamburg), Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Viktor Kovalenko (Shakhtar Donetsk), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid), Emanuel Mammana (Lyon), Nathan (Vitesse), Olivier Ntcham (Genoa), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich), Jairo Riedewald (Ajax), Ruben Neves (Porto), Tonny Sanabria (Betis), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen), Youri Tielemans (Anderlecht), Almamy Toure (AS Monaco).