Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Joshua Zirkzee: Man Utd & Arsenal issued warning in pursuit of Bologna star

Mikel Arteta, Erik ten Hag

Manchester United and Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee, who has been heavily linked with a big-money summer move.

The 23-year-old has shone in Serie A this campaign, netting 10 goals in the league as Thiago Motta’s side challenge for Champions League football.

Bologna are currently fourth in the Italian top flight table and are on course to qualify for Europe for the first time since 2002.

Zirkzee, formerly of Bayern Munich, has attracted significant transfer interest over the past few months, with Man Utd and Arsenal keen on bringing him to the Premier League and a return to Bayern also on the cards.

However, Bologna are insistent that he isn’t for sale. The Italian side’s chief executive Claudio Fenucci told Rai Radio (via TEAMTalk): “About Joshua. We don’t like to talk much of the future of our players, we prefer to live every moment of the present, there is great enthusiasm.

“In any case, the desire would be to keep everyone.”

Recent reports suggest that Man Utd and Arsenal will be required to smash Bologna’s transfer sale record of €24.5 million (Simone Verdi to Napoli) in order to land Zirkzee, and Fenucci’s comments suggest that Zirkzee is unlikely to leave unless a major bid is lodged.

Joshua Zirkzee, Bologna
© IMAGO – Joshua Zirkzee, Bologna

Viktor Gyokeres: Arsenal’s Joshua Zirkzee alternative

While Arsenal are interested in Zirkzee, their priority striker target for this summer is Sporting CP’s Viktor Gyokeres, as exclusively reported by FootballTransfers.

The Sweden international has scored 33 goals and provided 12 assists in all competitions this season and is viewed as the perfect centre-forward for Mikel Arteta’s project at the Emirates Stadium.

Kai Havertz has been used as a number nine in recent weeks, but the German is a versatile player and Gyokeres will likely become Arsenal’s first-choice striker if he joins. The former Coventry City forward is expected to cost €100m.

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