Manchester United top favorite to sign Joshua Zirkzee

20 January 2024 - 7:55 am

United have been linked with a number of forwards over the past few weeks, with recent reports suggesting they have begun talks over Zirkzee’s availability.

Gazzetta dello Sport now say the Red Devils appear to be in a good position to sign the 22-year-old in the summer, but they will spend at least £43m.

The same source said Bayern still have the advantage in terms of options to re-sign the striker. The German champions agreed a buy-back clause worth £35m in 2022.

emerging forward

Manchester United spent money to sign Rasmus Hoylund from Atalanta last summer. The Dane has been hit and miss this season, scoring just seven goals despite being a regular in the starting XI. The Red Devils believe the 20-year-old can become their top striker in the long term due to his huge potential.

However, they cannot let the youngster take his place for granted and they need another quality forward to compete with him. Anthony Martial’s contract expires in June but he doesn’t appear to be the answer. United have decided they do not want to trigger the 12-month clause to extend his contract.

Martial’s exit could lead to United signing Zirkzee, who has begun to realize his potential after a difficult spell at Bayern where he was a regular substitute. Zirkzee impressed in his second season at Bologna, scoring eight goals and assisting four in 22 games. He showed good physical attributes, pace and the ability to provide key passes.

The Dutch striker also has the knack to stop play successfully. He can be seen as a strong contender for Hoylund for the No. 9 position at Manchester United for many seasons to come. Bologna’s fee is on the high side, but United are likely to pay that amount this summer and they should have some wiggle room over Financial Fair Play restrictions.