Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag sweating as Liverpool plot brutal hijack of Man Utd move for key striker target

Liverpool are considering a move for Man Utd target Joshua Zirkzee

Liverpool are considering a move for Man Utd target Joshua Zirkzee

Manchester United are huge admirers of Joshua Zirkzee but a bombshell report has claimed Liverpool could hijack their move for the Bologna striker.

Zirkzee was one of the standout performers in Serie A last season and made 16 goal contributions in 34 league matches to help secure Champions League qualification for his team.

Man Utd have been heavily linked with the Dutch striker in recent weeks and sources have confirmed to TEAMtalk that Erik ten Hag would love to bring him in.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has put money aside to sign a new striker who can compete with Rasmus Hojlund for a starting spot.

Zirkzee, 23, fits into Ratcliffe’s philosophy of signing young players with high potential. He has a £34m release clause in his contract, which Man Utd are willing to pay.

One hurdle to a deal is the fact that Zirkzee’s agent, Kia Joorabchian, is demanding a hefty €15m (£12.6m) bonus for any deal for the player this summer.

Per CaughtOffsideZirkzee is yet to fully agree personal terms with the Red Devils and Liverpool could swoop in for his signature as a result.

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The report claims that Man Utd are ‘progressing’ in talks with Zirkzee, who is looking for a four to five year contract at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils ‘aren’t putting all their eggs in one basket’, though, which is why they’re keeping a close eye on Lille forward Jonathan David.

Should Zirkzee fail to agree terms with Man Utd he could then ‘become an option’ for Liverpool, with their new manager Arne Slot ‘appreciative’ of the Dutchman’s abilities.

Liverpool hijacked Man Utd’s move for Cody Gakpo in January 2022 and Ten Hag will no doubt be fearful that the same could happen agan with Zirkzee.

The Merseyside giants already have Darwin Nunez and Gakpo as centre-forward options but after Nunez’s lacklustre 2023/24 campaign, they could opt to bring in a new one.

Zirkzee is currently away on international duty with the Netherlands at Euro 2024, where he has been an unused substitute in their first two matches.

The youngster is fully focused on the tournament but and is expected to hold concrete talks with Man Utd and his other suitors once it comes to an end.

Zirkzee was asked about his next move in an interview two weeks ago and remained tight-lipped on his future.

“After the holidays we’ll see what will happen. As far as I know so far I will play the Champions League with Bologna but I can’t say anything,” Zirkzee said.

“There’s a lot going on… we’ll come back after the holidays and see what happens.”

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