Joshua Zirkzee: Manchester United make Bologna striker top transfer target with Arsenal, AC Milan interested

Joshua Zirkzee is emerging as one of Manchester United's primary transfer targets this summer.

United have made their interest clear in signing the Bologna striker.

The 23-year-old has a £34m release clause in his contract and is one of several strikers United are doing due diligence on ahead of the transfer window opening on Friday.

Arsenal and AC Milan remain interested in Zirkzee, who has two years left on his contract.

Arsenal want to bring in a young striker they can develop, having turned their attention away from players such as Newcastle's Alexander Isak and Brentford's Ivan Toney.

Sky in Italy are reporting that Milan are still pushing to sign the 23-year-old after flying to London for talks. Nothing was agreed but they remain in contact with his representatives.

Juventus are also keen on Zirkzee but are currently working on other targets, and they would need to sell a striker to bring one in.

Zirkzee graduated through Bayern Munich's system and had spells with Parma and Anderlecht before joining Bologna in the summer of 2022.

The forward received limited game time in his first campaign in Serie A, scoring only two league goals from 808 minutes.

This term, he scored 11 league goals and the shot map below suggests he is most lethal from the left-of-centre region.

The heat map below also shows how the forward typically plays deeper than a conventional striker.

He also ranks among the top five players in Serie A for creating big chances, attempting dribbles and regaining possession in the final third.

Indeed, the radar graphic below reveals he ranks among the top five per cent across Europe in those three metrics.

Fulham value Joao Palhinha at double the £30m bid they have rejected from Bayern Munich.

Barcelona and Manchester United are also interested, but it is unlikely the Spanish side would be able to afford him and there is uncertainty surrounding the managerial situation at Old Trafford.

There is no release clause in the new Fulham contract Palhinha signed last September. The deal runs to 2028 and Fulham have the option to extend it by another year.

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The 2024 summer transfer window in the Premier League officially opens on Friday June 14 - the same day that Euro 2024 starts.

The window will close on August 30 at 11pm UK time in England and at midnight in Scotland.

The Premier League has brought forward Deadline Day to link up with the other major leagues in Europe. The closing dates were set following discussions with the leagues in England, Germany, Italy, Spain and France.