Man Utd ‘close in’ on transfer ‘hijack’ to beat Euro giants to sign £34m ‘top target’

Lewis Oldham
Joshua Zirkzee transfer to Man Utd
Joshua Zirkzee has been linked with Arsenal and Manchester United.

According to reports, Manchester United are ramping up their efforts to beat AC Milan and Arsenal in the race to Joshua Zirkzee from Serie A side Bologna.

The 23-year-old progressed through the ranks at Bayern Munich but has been with Serie A outfit Bologna since August 2022.

Zirkzee enjoyed a breakout season for Bologna in 2023/24 as he grabbed 12 goals and seven assists in his 37 appearances across all competitions.

His form has earned him a place in the Netherlands’ final squad for Euro 2024 and he’s attracting interest from clubs around Europe.

Zirkzee to Man Utd?

Premier League pair Arsenal and Man Utd are in the market for a new forward and they have been mooted as potential destinations. However, it has been widely reported in recent weeks that Serie A giants AC Milan are leading the race to sign him.

This appears to have changed, though. German journalist Florian Plettenberg revealed that Man Utd have a “good chance to hijack the deal”. 

“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.”

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Man Utd paid around £64m to sign Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta last summer and had to overly rely on the inexperienced striker as they were short of options in the forward department.

Hojlund impressed in the Champions League group stages and his purple patch in the Premier League after the New Year saw him finish his debut season with 16 goals in 43 appearances across all competitions.

The Denmark international would benefit from having a striker to compete with and Zirkzee appears to be Man Utd’s preferred summer target.

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According to Football Insider, Man Utd are ‘closing in on Zirkzee’ after holding ‘talks’ on Wednesday over the signing.

‘Manchester United will hold talks today over a deal to sign Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee, sources have told Football Insider.

‘United have shortlisted the Dutchman as a potential new attacking option this summer and have been in contact with his representatives.

‘The Premier League giants are discussing terms with the 23-year-old’s camp and weighing up whether to activate his £33.8million release clause.

‘Old Trafford chiefs are now set to continue talks over a deal for Zirkzee, whose contract with Bologna is due to expire in 2026.’