Arsenal ‘have great chance’ of signing ‘admired’ striker despite Premier League rivals ‘threat’

Jason Soutar
Arsenal-linked Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee during a match
Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee during a match

Italian media reckon Arsenal ‘have a great chance’ of winning the race to sign Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee, who reportedly appreciates Mikel Arteta’s style of play.

Zirkzee has been in superb form in an overachieving Bologna side benefitting from the incredible work of young head coach Thiago Motta.

Motta – who has been linked with the Manchester United job – has previously managed Paris Saint-Germain’s Under-19s, Genoa and Spezia, taking on his first senior management role in 2019.

He has an impressive 47.89 win percentage as Bologna boss and has his side competing for a Champions League place in Serie A.

They are currently fourth with five games remaining, four points above an in-form AS Roma side in fifth.

Only Inter – who have already been crowned champions – have lost fewer games (1) than Bologna (5) in the Italian top flight this campaign.

Lots of their success comes down to young striker Zirkzee, who has been leading the line extremely well in his second season at the club.

He was signed from Bayern Munich for €8.5million in August 2022 and it has been reported that the player has a €40m release clause in his contract that only the Bavarians can trigger.

After only scoring twice in 19 Serie A appearances last term, Zirkzee has scored an impressive 11 goals and provided five assists in 31 appearances in 2023/24.

His fine form has caught the eye of several top clubs and while Bayern have this exclusive release clause, there is interest coming from clubs in the Premier League.

Arsenal, in particular, have been strongly linked in recent months with Arteta very eager to sign a new No. 9.

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It was believed for much of this season that Arteta needs to bring in a ready-made world-class striker to take the Gunners to the next level but their fine form this term with Kai Havertz up front has relieved the transfer pressure on the Spaniard.

This means a young striker like Zirkzee – who turns 23 next month – might be the ideal addition.

The lack of pressure to instantly hit the ground running could benefit the player, and the fact he is someone with the potential to become world-class can also benefit the club.

Thankfully for Arteta and Arsenal, they ‘have a great chance’ of landing Zirkzee in the summer transfer window, according to Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness).

The Italian newspaper says the hope is for the Dutch striker to stay in Italy, ideally for Bologna, AC Milan or Inter, but there is a ‘real threat’ coming from the Premier League and Arsenal in particular.

The Gunners are said to be ‘admirers’ of Zirkzee, though ‘there are several teams interested in him’.

The report states that Arsenal have the funds to land the youngster and the ‘perfect style of play’ to convince him to move to London.

Overall, it is believed the Premier League giants ‘have a great chance’ of making it happen but there will be fierce competition for Zirkzee’s signature this summer.

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