Man Utd ‘contact’ Arsenal striker target as Ornstein reveals Ratcliffe ‘considering approach’

Jason Soutar
Reported Man Utd target Joshua Zirkzee during a Netherlands training session
Joshua Zirkzee during a Netherlands training session

According to reports, Manchester United have made ‘contact’ with Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee, who has also been linked with Arsenal.

Zirkzee scored 11 goals in 34 Serie A matches as Bologna stunned everyone by qualifying for the Champions League.

He missed out on the Netherlands Euro 2024 before injuries to Frenkie de Jong, Marten de Roon and Teun Koopmeiners saw Ronald Koeman bring him into his squad for the tournament in Germany.

It remains to be seen if Zirkzee will get minutes at the European Championship but plenty of clubs will be monitoring his progress.

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There are several European clubs interested in signing the 23-year-old this summer and the player reportedly has a £34million release clause in his Bologna contract.

He is reportedly on Manchester United’s shortlist, while Arsenal are also keen. However, Zirkzee appears to be keen on staying in Italy and has been in talks with AC Milan.

Reports earlier this month claimed that Zirkzee is ‘closing in’ on a move to the San Siro but it has been claimed that this transfer ‘has been interrupted for days’.

This is according to reports in Italy. It is claimed that Man Utd are looking to take advantage of this and have made ‘contact’ with the youngster’s agent Kia Joorabchain.

It is noted that Juventus have ‘also showed interest’ but Zirkzee ‘has other priorities’, seemingly being less open to a move to Turin.

Meanwhile, reports in Germany claim that Zirkzee is ‘one of the desired targets for the attack’ at Old Trafford, with Erik ten Hag interested in bringing him in to compete with Rasmus Hojlund.

‘Aware of concrete interest from Milan’, Man Utd have been ‘informed’ about ‘the high commissions and demanded fees’ from Zirkzee’s representatives, which is what has halted the Rossoneri’s pursuit.

With Ten Hag clearly keen, it is claimed that the Red Devils are ‘closely monitoring the situation’.

The main man David Ornstein later added that Man Utd’s interest in Zirkzee is ‘advanced’.

The Athletic’s football correspondent says the Red Devils are now ‘exploring a deal’ and have held talks with the player’s representatives, though there has been no discussions between themselves and Bologna.

It is noted that Man Utd are ‘considering an approach’ even though there is a £34m release clause there ready to be triggered.

Zirkzee, 23, would fit into new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s transfer philosophy as he looks to sign players aged 25 or younger.

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