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Manchester United handed big blow in unexpected Joshua Zirkzee transfer twist



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Manchester United have been handed a big blow in their pursuit of Joshua Zirkzee in an expected transfer twist despite the £34m release clause.

Manchester United and AC Milan are both in contention to sign 23-year-old Dutch international Joshua Zirkzee, as each team aims to bolster their attacking options this summer

Erik ten Hag‘s squad struggled with goal-scoring last season, with Rasmus Højlund leading the team’s scoring charts with just 16 goals – a stark contrast to the prolific eras of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, and even Marcus Rashford in the 2022/23 season.

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Although both teams have indicated willingness to pay the £34 million release clause, AC Milan have struggled with his agent’s commission demands of up to £12 million, while United are seemingly more relaxed about this.

According to Corriere dello Sport, United are “willing to pay both the €40 million clause and the €15 million commission without batting an eyelid.”

However, in an unexpected twist, the Italian-based paper now claims that Bologna have started to hope that Zirkzee will now stay at the club beyond this summer.

“There is no point in hiding how Bologna has started to hope again, also because Joshua has let everyone know that his will is to stay and he wants to play the Champions League with his teammates,” the report reads.

Beyond this, it is also said that had Thiago Motta, the manager last season who has just signed for Juventus, stayed at Bologna, Zirkzee would have already declared that he has no intentions of leaving—and he is still keen to stay.

Beyond this, Zirkzee’s father is also pushing for the 23-year-old at his current club. “Not only that, Zirkzee’s father is also pushing him to stay in Casteldebole, having understood that another year in Bologna would be important for Joshua for his growth path,” the report reads.

Bologna also may sign Zirkzee’s 18-year-old brother, Jordan, from Bayer Leverkusen to Bologna this summer to play as part of their academy

Beyond this, Corriere dello Sport point to the notion that Kia Joorabchian, his agent, could be set to clash with Zirkzee himself as he is the one pushing for his client to make the move this summer.

“The point is that Kia himself would almost do something out of spite to Joshua by taking him to Manchester, firstly because the Dutch talent told him that he would like to play another championship in Italy to take the final step, secondly because the only certain thing is that he would find ruthless competition there, which certainly doesn’t fill him either of happiness nor of serenity.”

Previous reports have indicated that Zirkzee will only make his final decision after the conclusion of the 2024 European Championships, where he is competing with the Netherlands.

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