Chelsea intrude on Man Utd striker scouting mission for Serie A star after intense Arsenal links

Joshua Zirkzee celebrating for Bologna

Joshua Zirkzee's goals have been attracting loads of clubs

In addition to Manchester United, Chelsea have been among the clubs scouting Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee recently, according to a report that has revealed his plentiful amount of other suitors.

Zirkzee scored his 10th goal of the season on Sunday, which was the winner against Lazio, putting Bologna firmly in contention for a first European finish since 2000. Whether they will retain their main striker for any subsequent European adventure, though, is up for question.

Zirkzee has been heavily linked with a transfer away from Bologna in recent days. One update claimed Arsenal are leading the charge to bring him to the Premier League, for example.

Other sources have talked up the prospect of a move to Manchester United to work under his compatriot Erik ten Hag – and we went on to explain why he might just be the perfect fit at Old Trafford.

According to the latest from Corriere Dello Sport, interest in and enthusiasm for Zirkzee is growing among some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Man Utd are one of the clubs said to be ‘lined up’ for his signature, but so are – in what appears to be a fresh link – Chelsea.

The Blues bought Nicolas Jackson from Villarreal in the summer of 2023, but are in the market for an even better centre-forward to inspire them further up the table while the Senegal international develops.

Ivan Toney is one experienced option on Chelsea’s radar, and there have also been recent links with Harry Kane, but if they want to focus on the long-term still, they could be considering 22-year-old Zirkzee.

Serie A trio and LaLiga giant eye Zirkzee

Surprisingly, Corriere Dello Sport does not name Arsenal as another of the viewing parties for Zirkzee, but Juventus, AC Milan, Roma and Barcelona all are namechecked.

And there is a sense that with every Zirkzee goal, more clubs will be joining the queue for the former Bayern Munich prospect.

Bologna still have Zirkzee under contract until 2026, but Bayern have a buyback clause and there are various other likely exit routes for the Dutchman.

His task at either Man Utd or Chelsea would be relatively similar. At either destination, Zirkzee would become a rotation option alongside the centre-forward the club invested in last summer, whether that is Rasmus Hojlund or Jackson.

There has been a feeling that either club might want a more experienced striker, since Hojlund and Jackson have long-term potential, which the former in particular is already starting to fulfil.

But Sir Jim Ratcliffe will want Man Utd to focus on long-term recruitment, while Chelsea under Todd Boehly have also brought in plenty of youthful players they are hoping to benefit from the development of further down the line.

Zirkzee has a decent blend of experience and remaining potential, which he may have to leave Bologna to maximise – at least that’s what the reluctant sense is in Italy with each passing week.

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