Man Utd ‘Plan B’ is ‘sensational return’ for Chelsea outcast as Ashworth plays ‘key’ role

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd transfer target Joshua Zirkzee
Joshua Zirkzee has been linked with a move to Man Utd.

Manchester United’s interest in Bologna and Netherlands forward Joshua Zirkzee is reportedly ‘growing stronger every day’ amid competition from rivals.

The Red Devils are going to be busy during this summer’s transfer window and one of their priorities is to sign a new forward to compete with Rasmus Hojlund.

The £64m Denmark international – who joined Man Utd last summer – enjoyed a successful debut season at Old Trafford as he scored 16 goals across all competitions, but competition is required and Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s recruitment team are considering several options.

Zirkzee has emerged as a potential signing after he enjoyed a successful 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.

Zirkzee to Man Utd?

The 23-year-old is reportedly Man Utd’s top target, but they face competition from Premier League rivals Liverpool as clubs race to sign him from Bologna this summer. 

Zirkzee is available for an affordable fee as there is a £34m release clause in his contract and according to reports in Italy, United’s interest in the attacker is ‘growing stronger every day’, with new sporting director Dan Ashworth said to be playing a ‘key’ role in discussions.

READ: Cristiano Ronaldo produces most arrogant display in football history as Portugal win in spite of him

Arsenal and Serie A giants AC Milan are also being mooted as potential destinations for Zirkzee, so Man Utd are right to consider potential alternatives.

And according to another Italian media outlet, Man Utd and AC Milan have Chelsea outcast Romelu Lukaku in mind as a ‘Plan B’ in case they miss out on Zirkzee, with it claimed that a ‘sensational return’ is on the cards.

👉 Man Utd ‘agree’ to pay £34m for defender Ten Hag is ‘obsessed’ with as Real Madrid ‘confirm farewell’
👉 Man Utd ‘feeling’ on Greenwood, Sancho ‘returns’ revealed as Ratcliffe targets £85m double sale
👉 Romano reveals Man Utd have been given ‘green light’ to secure first summer signing

The report adds: ‘Unlike the Rossoneri, the Red Devils seem willing to pay both the €40 million clause to Bologna and the high commissions requested by Zirkzee’s agents to bring him to the Premier League.

‘According to what our editorial team has learned, among the alternatives to the Dutchman, there is Romelu Lukaku, for whom it would be a sensational return after the sale in the summer of 2019 to Inter.

‘In short, a difficult but not impossible deal.’