Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd transfers: Surprise striker rockets up wish list with £30m investment required for new target

Joshua Zirkzee

Joshua Zirkzee in action for Bologna

Manchester United have identified a new target in their search for a centre-forward after a report revealed they are interested in Joshua Zirkzee from Bologna.

Rasmus Hojlund joined Man Utd from Atalanta in the summer to develop into their main striker for the long term. However, the Denmark international was never expected to be the finished article straight away and may be even further back in his development than anticipated.

As Hojlund’s wait for a first Premier League goal goes on, all while Marcus Rashford is playing like a shadow of himself from last season, the pressure on Man Utd to add another striker to take the heat off has risen.

It is unlikely, though, that they will be able to invest in a ready-made, world-class option in January. Instead, they are searching for lower-profile reinforcements.

Now, Sport1 has revealed that Zirkzee is a new target they are considering amid his productive form for Bologna.

The 22-year-old has scored eight goals this season, already quadrupling his return from his debut season with his current club.

It has led to murmurs about a move to the Premier League and now Man Utd could be a potential destination for the Dutchman.

According to the German source, Man Utd have elevated the former Bayern Munich prospect up their shortlist of centre-forward targets.

He could be available for a fee in the region of €35m-€40m, which equates to between £30.4m and £34.8m.

One complication is that Bayern not only have a buyback clause worth €22m (£19.1m), but also a 50% sell-on clause and the right to match any offers that arrive to Bologna.

Thanks to the impact of Harry Kane since his transfer from Tottenham Hotspur over the summer, though, Bayern have little need to welcome Zirkzee back after his previous spell in the shadows of Robert Lewandowski.

They will no doubt be observing the situation with interest, but Zirkzee’s next step away from Bologna will likely be for a completely fresh challenge, such as coming to the Premier League for the first time.

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Could Zirkzee end up at Man Utd?

Bologna – who are currently fourth in Serie A with only two losses to their name this season – still have their no.9 under contract until 2026, but Man Utd may believe he has the qualities they are missing from their attack.

Capped by the Netherlands at every youth level from under-15 to under-21, Zirkzee could become the latest Dutch element at Old Trafford for his compatriot Erik ten Hag to work with if a transfer can go through.

That said, an investment of towards £35m seems unlikely in Man Utd’s current situation – at least for the January window.

Perhaps this could be something to keep an eye on instead for the summer, when Anthony Martial will reach the end of his contract in Manchester to potentially open up a new vacancy in the United attack.