Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd hold strong interest in thriving Serie A star amid ‘bombardment’ of offers; Newcastle, Juventus also in frame

Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee, Lazio star Matias Vecino

Manchester United are firmly in the mix to sign a Serie A striker who is enjoying a great season, though Erik ten Hag’s side will face competition for the deal from Newcastle United, Juventus and AC Milan, according to reports.

Man Utd bolstered their centre-forward ranks over the summer by spending an initial £64million to sign Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta. The deal has the potential to rise to £72m depending on add-ons.

While Hojlund has only netted one goal in 15 Premier League games so far, he has shown he is capable of leading Man Utd’s frontline on his own and also becoming a potentially deadly striker in the future. Indeed, he shone during Man Utd’s Champions League campaign, scoring five times in six games even though they finished bottom of their group.

Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are the other two players in Ten Hag’s squad capable of playing up front. But Martial will soon hold a meeting with Fenerbahce over a switch to Turkey, while Rashford prefers to operate as a left winger.

Those factors could see Man Utd dip into the market for a new striker either this month or at the end of the campaign.

One player who has emerged on Man Utd’s radar is Joshua Zirkzee. The 22-year-old was on Bayern Munich’s books between August 2017 and August 2022. He left for Bologna last year in order to pick up more senior game time, and the move has proven to be a masterstroke.

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After getting used to life in Italy last term, Zirkzee is now thriving. This season he has managed eight goals and four assists in 21 games, which includes Serie A strikes against Inter Milan, Fiorentina and Torino.

Zirkzee is so influential for Bologna that he even captained them during the 1-1 draw against Genoa on Friday.

Man Utd, Newcastle battling for Bologna raid

But Bologna may soon have to deal with offers for their new talisman. On Christmas Eve, it emerged that Man Utd have added the former Netherlands U21 international to their wish list.

There has now been an update on the situation from Sport Witness, who cite reports emerging from Italy. It is claimed that Man Utd are ‘very interested’ in Zirkzee, which suggests that they could try their luck with a bid at some point in 2024.

Although, Man Utd are not alone in chasing the star. Indeed, Premier League rivals Newcastle are also in the mix. And further afield, there is interest from Bologna’s Italian rivals Juve, Milan and Napoli.

Due to the vast amount of clubs tracking Zirkzee, the former Feyenoord academy player is set to be ‘bombarded’ with proposals come the summer.

While Man Utd would love to sign a new striker and replace Martial this month, they look set for a six-month wait as Bologna have no plans to sell Zirkzee midway through the campaign.

It must also be noted that Bayern possess the option to buy Zirkzee back for €40m (£34m).

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