Man Utd ‘hijack’ now on for top target but another U-turn is ‘not out of the question’

Joe Williams
Man Utd transfer target Joshua Zirkzee
Joshua Zirkzee has been linked with a move to Man Utd.

Man Utd now have a “good chance” of hijacking Joshua Zirkzee’s potential transfer to Milan but there is still a chance that the Serie A side get a deal for the forward over the line, according to reports.

Milan have been pursuing a deal for weeks but the reliable David Ornstein of The Athletic confirmed yesterday that the Red Devils’ interest in Zirkzee is “advanced”.

Man Utd are ‘exploring a deal’ and have held talks with Zirkzee’s representatives but there have been no talks between the two clubs over a potential £34m transfer.

The 23-year-old scored 11 goals in 34 Serie A appearances this term to help Bologna qulaify for the Champions League and Sky Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg reckons he could be playing his football at Old Trafford next season.

Plettenberg wrote on X: “Been told that concrete talks between ManUtd and Joshua Zirkzee‘s top agent Kia Joorabchian have started! #Zirkzee, a top target for the attack of #MUFC again and as revealed today – after a total agreement with AC Milan is not in sight at this stage.

“Understand, ManUtd with good chances to hijack the deal. Red Devils now working on a total verbal agreement. Open race. Ten Hag wants him. However, a deal with Milan is not out of the question.”

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has also brought an update on Man Utd interest in Zirkzee but insists that Milan are currently the “favourites”.

Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column: “I’m getting many questions about Joshua Zirkzee as there have been new reports linking Manchester United with a strong interest in the Bologna striker, but my information remains the same as last week – AC Milan are the favourites because they have an agreement on almost everything on the player side, such as the contract and the salary.

“Milan have also informed Bologna more than ten days ago that they want to pay the release clause for Zirkzee, which is worth €40m. However, they still don’t have an agreement with Zirkzee’s agent. So Milan are in control of the situation on the player side, but they don’t have an agreement on the conditions with the agent yet, so that’s an important factor.

“Meanwhile, other clubs are entering the story and trying to understand what’s going on around Zirkzee. There are not so many strikers available on the market for that price, and that is why if Milan want to close this deal, they have to be fast. Manchester United have now made an enquiry – it’s not advanced, still early stages, but Man United are informed on Zirkzee deal details since last week.

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“They’ve asked for information on the release clause details and potential salary package. AC Milan have agreed on personal terms and they want to pay the clause, but they’ve still no agreement with his agent on commission. Let’s see if Man United will really decide to enter and start concrete talks.

“So, United wanted to be informed, as Zirkzee is one of their options they’re considering, though not the only one. It’s something they are discussing internally at Man United as they wait to decide who is their top target for the new striker. It’s not an advanced negotiation as of yet, but Zirkzee is under consideration by people at the club.

“It will be a busy summer in general at United as they need a new striker, but also a new left-back and centre-back, and I’m hearing that in the last 24-48 hours, they also made some enquiries on the market over a new midfielder. They are exploring options in midfield especially in the case of Casemiro leaving, which remains a strong possibility.

“United are assessing options and have started to make moves to strengthen their midfield – we will see who it’s going to be and what United are going to do, but for sure they are going to be really busy in the next weeks, so keep an eye on potential new arrivals at centre-back, left-back, striker, and midfield.”