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Manchester United dealt second Joshua Zirkzee transfer blow following player U-turn



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Manchester United have been dealt a second blow in their pursuit of Joshua Zirkzee despite his £34 million release clause being available.

Manchester United and AC Milan are vying to sign 23-year-old Dutch international Joshua Zirkzee to bolster their attacking options.

Erik ten Hag‘s squad had difficulty finding the net last season, with Rasmus Højlund topping the scoring charts with only 16 goals – a stark contrast to the prolific periods of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, and even Marcus Rashford in the 2022/23 season.

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However, both clubs were dealt unexpected news earlier this week after it was revealed that, seemingly in a U-turn, Zirkzee is leaning towards staying at his current club, Bologna, following a successful season as their starting striker.

Reports from Italy on Tuesday revealed that Bologna are optimistic about retaining Joshua Zirkzee, who has a £34 million release clause, for another season in Serie A. Zirkzee seems to have changed his mind and now appears content to stay.

“There is no point in hiding that Bologna is hopeful again, as Joshua has made it clear he wishes to stay and aims to play in the Champions League with his teammates,” the report stated.

Additionally, Zirkzee’s father is reportedly advocating for the 23-year-old to remain at his current club. “Zirkzee’s father is encouraging him to stay in Casteldebole, believing that another year in Bologna is crucial for Joshua’s development,” the report added.

However, it was noted that Kia Joorabchian, Zirkzee’s agent, may clash with the player as he is pushing for a 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.”

Of course, this is not news United would want to hear, and it is not surprising that reports have now emerged that Ten Hag has personally called Zirkzee to convince him to sign for United.

However, a second blow has now emerged surrounding his release clause that will put United on a ticking clock.

According to Fabrizio Romano, United have now been informed that Zirkzee’s £34 million release clause is only active until mid-August rather than the end of the window like many originally anticipated.

United are said to be “discussing internally” over the salary and costs of a deal following talks with Joorabchian.

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