Man Utd finally reach agreement to sign Joshua Zirkzee

Manchester United have notified Bologna of their intent to activate Joshua Zirkzee’s €40 million (£33.7m) release clause, as reported by sources in Italy.

After deciding to retain Erik ten Hag as manager, United have prioritized signing a new striker and at least one new center-back ahead of the upcoming Premier League season.

Zirkzee, who netted 11 goals in Serie A last season, emerged as a top candidate on United’s shortlist. The club had to outbid AC Milan to secure the 23-year-old.

AC Milan had initially reached an agreement with Zirkzee but withdrew from the deal after refusing to pay an additional €15 million (£12.6m) in commission to the player’s representative, Kia Joorabchian.

This hesitation allowed United to step in, and Zirkzee has since agreed to personal terms after direct talks with Erik ten Hag.

United deliberated between paying Zirkzee’s €40m (£33.7m) release clause outright or negotiating a separate deal with Bologna, potentially involving a smaller upfront fee with add-ons due to their financial constraints.

According to Sky Sports Italy, United have chosen to activate Zirkzee’s release clause and have officially informed Bologna of their decision. They have also agreed to pay the €15m (£12.6m) commission fees that stalled AC Milan’s deal.

Bayern Munich stands to benefit significantly from Zirkzee’s move to United, as they secured a 45 percent sell-on clause when the Dutch striker joined Bologna for £7m (€8.5m) from the Bundesliga club in August 2022.

Zirkzee is currently with the Netherlands squad, preparing for their Euro 2024 semi-final match against England on Wednesday evening.

The striker, who was a late addition to the Dutch squad in June, earned his first senior cap in the 2-1 win against Turkey in the Euro 2024 quarter-final on Saturday night.

When questioned about his future after the game, Zirkzee expressed uncertainty about staying in Italy for another year.

Asked if he will still be playing in Italy next campaign, Zirkzee told Sportitalia: ‘I don’t know, let’s see.’

Asked if it’s a 50 per cent chance that he stays, Zirkzee replied: ‘Let’s see.’

JB

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