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Joshua Zirkzee’s Manchester United move still in doubt despite £34 million release clause bid



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Manchester United’s potential move for Joshua Zirkzee still may be in doubt despite the club reportedly looking to activate his £34 million release clause this summer.

Manchester United are in the market for a new forward this summer. Following Anthony Martial‘s departure, Rasmus Højlund is the only recognised centre-forward in Erik ten Hag’s squad.

According to UtdDistrict’s information, INEOS plan to sign a new striker early in the window, with Joshua Zirkzee being a notable target.

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A report from The Telegraph on Thursday afternoon claimed that United are now preparing to trigger the £34 million release clause in Zirkzee’s contract to bring in the striker this summer.

However, the news also reveals that while the interest in Zirkzee is genuine and serious, they are still assessing other options in the transfer window.

“We’re doing what every other club is doing, which is looking at which are the holes in our squad, and where we want the holes, and what are the possibilities out there in the market for us,” co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe said on Thursday morning.

Although triggering a release clause helps clubs bypass potential negotiations with a player’s club as it is a set fee that they have to accept, this does not mean that the player, in this case Zirkzee, will definitely join Old Trafford.

Two weeks ago, reports claimed that the Netherlands international had already accepted a potential contract offer from Serie A side AC Milan before United’s interest became serious.

However, a major fee must still be negotiated between United and Zirkzee’s agent, which could prove a major hurdle and casts a shadow of doubt over the move.

Kia Joorabchian, his agent/advisor, has asked AC Milan for £12 million in compensation to facilitate the deal, and everywhere suggests that he is refusing to lower this fee—meaning that if he can’t pay up, Zirkzee won’t move.

This is a sticking point that could put United’s deal for the 23-year-old in major jeopardy. Although there have been claims that, due to good initial conversations between Joorabchian and United, the agent would give United a discount on this commission fee, this does not solve the issue.

United are thought to be on an initial budget of about £50 million before player sales this summer, meaning that every penny counts. £34 million represents a fantastic value-for-money deal for United, but if a £8-10 million agent fee is added to this, it becomes a problem.

This will need to be resolved quickly and fairly in order for the transfer to go through on time.

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