Man Utd ‘earmark’ Zirkzee alternative in the Premier League after Liverpool ‘steal’ is mooted

Joe Williams
Man Utd Liverpool Zirkzee
Manchester United and Liverpool are linked with Joshua Zirkzee.

Man Utd will make Ivan Toney their main striker target if a deal for Bologna star Joshua Zirkzee falls through, according to reports.

The Red Devils really struggled to score goals in the Premier League for the majority of the season with Rasmus Hojlund and Marcus Rashford scoring 17 goals between them.

It has been seen by many pundits and former players as unfair to expect Hojlund – who signed from Atalanta for £72m a year ago – to shoulder the goalscoring burden of one of the biggest clubs in the world.

And now Man Utd are looking to provide him with more support with Bologna forward Zirkzee understood to be their top priority in that position this summer.

Man Utd face competition from Italian giants AC Milan for Zirkzee with transfer expert Fabrizio Romano recently providing an update on the situation and the Duthcman’s £34m release clause.

Romano wrote: “On Zirkzee, the clause expires around mid-August but its future will be decided much earlier. There is no news on the Milan front, we know that there is agreement with the player and the Rossoneri management he made it known to #Bologna that he would pay the clause.

“The issue to be resolved is that of commissions, which is problematic from an ethical point of view. Especially on the payment methods and there is discussion about this, Kia Joorabchian wants a ‘faster’ method.

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“Milan have not given up on him and it’s also true that EURO 2024 he extended the time a bit. Just as it is also true that Manchester United have been informed, but it is not closed. The Rossoneri are still ahead.”

And now GiveMeSport claim that Man Utd ‘have earmarked Ivan Toney as a potential signing in the event of being unable to acquire Joshua Zirkzee in the coming weeks’.

The report adds:

‘Although GMS sources understand that Manchester United still view Zirkzee as being the best fit for what they want in terms of a new centre forward, Toney is remaining on their radar and heading to the negotiating table with Premier League rivals Brentford has not been ruled out at this stage.

‘GMS sources have been informed that Manchester United would be hopeful of convincing Brentford to accept an offer which does not surpass £40million if they are forced to turn their attentions away from Zirkzee, and there is an expectation that the west Londoners’ £60million demands will drop as Toney only has 12 months remaining on his £20,000-per-week contract.’

A report last week insists that Milan might not be the only side that Man Utd need to worry about with claims Liverpool head coach Arne Slot ‘could steal’ Zirkzee ‘if their deal falls through’.

Caught Offside wrote:

‘Intriguingly, arch rivals Liverpool could emerge as contenders for the Serie A hitman who has registered 19 goal contributions in 37 games for La Rossa in 2023/24.

‘Dutch head coach Arne Slot, who has succeeded Jurgen Klopp at Anfield, is understood to be appreciative of the footballer’s abilities.

‘Indeed, Zirkzee could be an option for the Reds, who are believed to be open to the possibility of signing a striker, if he can’t agree on terms with United.’