Man Utd ‘close to agreement’ for first summer signing with £34m transfer ‘99.9%’ likely

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd Liverpool Zirkzee
Manchester United and Liverpool are linked with Joshua Zirkzee.

According to reports, Manchester United are set to beat Serie A giants AC Milan in the race to sign Netherlands international Joshua Zirkzee from Bologna.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s new-look recruitment team at Old Trafford are stepping up their efforts to make signings ahead of the 2024/25 campaign. It is understood that it is their priority to sign a new striker, centre-back and centre-midfielder this summer.

Somewhat surprisingly after last summer’s sh*tshow, Man Utd already appear close to signing a new forward amid reports suggesting they have identified Zirkzee as their top target.

£64m signing Rasmus Hojlund overcame adversity to enjoy a strong debut season at Man Utd last term as he scored 16 goals across all competitions. But competition is required in forward areas and Zirkzee is capable of pushing the Denmark international for starts.

The former Bayern Munich academy product enjoyed a breakout season in Serie A with Bologna during the 2023/24 campaign. He grabbed 12 goals and seven assists in his 37 appearances across all competitions.

His form has attracted interest from clubs around Europe, with AC Milan, Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd mooted as potential destinations.

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Zirkzee is available for an affordable fee as there is a £34m release clause in his contract. Bologna technical director Giovanni Sartori recently admitted the forward is “99.9%” likely to leave the club this summer.

“Zirkzee has a clause so he will leave 99.9 per cent. We have been thinking about his replacement for months. It won’t be easy but we will work to replace him, we already have some names, some ideas.”

According to reports in Italy, Man Utd are now ‘close to an agreement’ with Bologna to sign Zirkzee as AC Milan have ‘lost’ the race to buy him.

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It is claimed that Zirkzee ‘found’ Man Utd after AC Milan were unwilling to meet his release clause and the extra money demanded by his agent, Kia Joorabchian.

Man Utd had been considering potential alternatives, with a report boldly claiming they have been plotting a ‘sensational return’ for Romelu Lukaku if case they missed out on Zirkzee. 

However, the report from Italy claims AC Milan will now turn their attention to Lukaku, who looks certain to leave Chelsea this summer.