Ibrahimovic responds to Man Utd beating AC Milan to Joshua Zirkzee transfer

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has announced that AC Milan is no longer pursuing Joshua Zirkzee, who is now likely to join Manchester United.

AC Milan had engaged in significant negotiations to acquire Zirkzee, who has a €40 million (£33.7m) release clause with Bologna, and they had reached an agreement on personal terms with the player last month.

However, reports from Italy indicated that the deal was stalled because AC Milan refused to pay an additional €15 million (£12.6m) in commission to Zirkzee’s agent, Kia Joorabchian.

This delay opened the door for Manchester United to step in. Following direct discussions with Erik ten Hag, Zirkzee is now poised to join the Premier League team, which has notified Bologna of its intention to activate his release clause.

Ibrahimovic, AC Milan’s senior adviser, stated that the club is now focused on securing a different striker instead of Zirkzee.

‘I can guarantee that new signings will arrive. We are talking, discussing. There is nothing done,’ Ibrahimovic said on Monday.

‘Zirkzee is in the past. We have one in mind, but I will not say the name. There is someone we are aiming for.

‘To sign players you also have to create space. We don’t want to have a squad of 30 players, but 23. The new signings will arrive, but we also have to create space so as not to have too many players who are not functional to the coach.

‘We have to think not only about who comes in, but also about who will leave. Whoever arrives is to improve the team, everything is designed to improve the roster. It’s not just sign, sign, sign, we don’t have to have 40-50 players like in American soccer.’

When asked if he felt disappointed by the demands of Joorabchian during the negotiations for Zirkzee, Ibrahimovic said: ‘No. Never disappointed. This is part of football. Reality and rumours are two different things.

‘There are agents who solve problems and agents who create problems. In this case it was neither.

‘The rumours that were going around were not the same as reality. We have an idea for the attack, we hope it comes in as quickly as possible.’

JB

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