Man Utd: Ratcliffe ‘closes in on’ first summer signing with ‘perfect’ striker to snub Arsenal

Jason Soutar
Man Utd transfer target Joshua Zirkzee
Joshua Zirkzee has been linked with a move to Man Utd.

Manchester United are ‘closing in on’ the signing of Joshua Zirkzee after AC Milan ‘gave up’ on their chase of the Bologna striker, according to reports.

Zirkzee scored 11 goals in 34 Serie A appearances in 2023/24 as Bologna qualified for the Champions League for the first time.

He is unlikely to stick around to play for them in Europe’s premier competition amidst interest from AC Milan, Manchester United and Arsenal.

It has been reported that the Gunners are prioritising the signing of a young striker to compete with Kai Havertz and Gabriel Jesus, with the 23-year-old certainly fitting the bill.

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They were strongly interested in signing Benjamin Sesko from RB Leipzig but the Slovenian decided to stay in Germany, signing a new contract.

Sesko is expected to leave Leipzig next summer having been recently linked with Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd.

It now looks like the Red Devils are set to win the race for Zirkzee in what will be their first signing of the 2024 summer transfer window.

Man Utd ‘close in on’ striker as Euro giants ‘give up’ chase

According to iPaper, AC Milan, who were previously leading the race to sign Zirkzee, have ‘given up’ and started ‘looking for alternatives’.

Luckily for the Rossoneri, they have been ‘offered’ the chance to sign Tammy Abraham from AS Roma having ended talks full of ‘tension’ with the player’s agent, Kia Joorabchian.

It is claimed that Milan’s relationship with the super agent is ‘difficult’ due to his demands.

This has allowed Man Utd to ‘close in on’ the £34million signing as they are reportedly willing to trigger his release clause.

The Red Devils are also expected to pay ‘much less’ in agent fees than Joorabchian asked from Milan.

Manager Erik ten Hag has ‘made signing a forward a top priority’ and believes Zirkzee is the ‘perfect profile’ to come in and compete for a starting spot with Rasmus Hojlund.

New Red Devils owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe will be delighted if he can get the signing of Zirkzee over the line after making it a priority to only sign players aged 25 or younger.

The report adds that Mason Greenwood is ‘likely to go the other way’ amidst interest from clubs in Italy.

Juventus and Lazio are ‘making progress in their pursuit of the 22-year-old’ with Man Utd ‘bracing themselves for bids from both’.

Greenwood will likely cost at least £30m, it is added.

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