Joshua Zirkzee makes decision over Man Utd transfer after Ten Hag talks

According to reports from Italy, Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee is set to join Manchester United after direct discussions with Erik ten Hag.

Manchester United aims to acquire a new striker during the summer transfer window to compete with Rasmus Hojlund, having missed out on a January move due to financial constraints.

Zirkzee is a top contender on United’s shortlist, but the Premier League club faces strong competition from AC Milan for the 23-year-old, who can be bought for a €40 million (£33.7m) release clause in his Bologna contract.

Previously, AC Milan seemed to be leading in the race for Zirkzee and had reached an agreement with him last month.

However, the deal stalled when Milan refused to pay an additional €15m (£12.6m) commission to the player’s agent, Kia Joorabchian.

This situation has given Manchester United a chance to secure Zirkzee, and according to Corriere di Bologna, he is now close to moving to Old Trafford. Meanwhile, AC Milan is exploring other striker options, including Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku.

The report suggests that United has settled the commission payments, and importantly, Zirkzee is persuaded about the move to United after speaking with Ten Hag about his potential role.

Bologna’s technical director, Giovanni Sartori, confirmed earlier this week that the Italian club is already working on finding a replacement for the Dutch striker.

‘Zirkzee has a clause so he will leave 99.9 per cent,’ Sartori told Sky Sport Italia. ‘We have been thinking about his replacement for months.

‘It won’t be easy but we will work to replace him, we already have some names, some ideas.’

After announcing Dan Ashworth as their new sporting director this week, Manchester United are moving quickly to strengthen Ten Hag’s squad. They are currently in negotiations with Bayern Munich for Matthijs de Ligt.

De Ligt, who is in the Netherlands squad for Euro 2024 along with Zirkzee, is reportedly interested in joining United. Bayern Munich is open to selling the centre-back, who made only 16 Bundesliga starts last season.

Bayern is asking for a €50m (£42m) fee for De Ligt, but there is optimism that a deal can be finalized.

JB

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