Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd to complete stunning striker hijack, as Red Devils allure helps secure critical discount

Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee, Man Utd, AC Milan badges

Manchester United are ready to activate the release clause in the contract of Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee, and the critical reason why they’ll succeed in hijacking AC Milan’s move has been revealed by a source.

Zirkzee, 23, has been installed as a key transfer target at Man Utd this summer. The Red Devils are seeking competition for Rasmus Hojlund and the Bologna hitman has been identified as priority number one.

United do have alternatives in mind should they fail to close a deal. Indeed, the likes of Jonathan David (Lille) and Lois Openda (RB Leipzig) are of interest to the club.

However, Zirkzee remains the prized target and Man Utd’s interest in the player was deemed ‘advanced’ by David Ornstein earlier this week. Reports in Italy have subsequently stated those contacts between Man Utd and Zirkzee’s representatives were ‘positive.’

The frontman can be signed via a €40m/£34m release clause. Serie A giant AC Milan are also in the mix for Zirkzee and have signalled their intention to trigger the clause when it becomes active on July 1.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano previously reported Zirkzee is keen on remaining in Italy and is excited by joining the new project in Milan.

However, Milan’s pursuit appears to have run aground over the sticky issue of agent’s fees.

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Zirkzee agent offers Man Utd discount

Zirkzee’s agent is Kia Joorabchian and reports claim he has demanded an eye-watering €15m/£12.7m from Milan to close the deal.

Milan are understandably reluctant to pay such a lofty commission and according to fresh reports out of Italy, relations between Milan and Zirkzee’s camp are now ‘terrible.’

Joorabchian is refusing to budge on his €15m demand, though the same source reports he is willing to give Man Utd a handy discount.

Zirkzee himself is reportedly ‘flattered’ by Man Utd’s interest and as such, his agent will only demand €9.5m/£8m from the Red Devils.

While that is still a significant commission to pay, it could prove pivotal in sealing a deal.

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Indeed, Joorabchian has reportedly given Milan an ultimatum – either close the deal quickly or discussions will end.

By contrast, a fresh update from the Telegraph states Man Utd now intend to trigger Zirkzee’s release clause when they can on July 1.

By that point, Milan’s move may well have crashed and burned and United could have a free run at finalising the move.

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