Prime Arsenal target gives enticing response to Edu pursuit after major hurdle cleared

Edu Gaspar, Arsenal

Edu hopes to give Mikel Arteta a new striker at Arsenal

Arsenal striker target Joshua Zirkzee has refused to shut down a potential summer move to the Emirates after enjoying a great season with Bologna in Italy.

Zirkzee made the bold decision to leave Bayern Munich in search of game time in August 2022 by signing for Bologna. Bayern sold the centre-forward for €8.5m but included an option to re-sign him for €40m, with the Bavarians given first refusal if any other club starts talks for Zirkzee.

The Dutchman took time to get used to his new club last season, and it is this campaign where he has really flourished.

Zirkzee has led the line brilliantly for Bologna, helping them secure qualification for next season’s Champions League by registering 12 goals and seven assists in 37 games.

Zirkzee’s excellent performances have even led to him being compared to Ronaldinho by Bologna boss Thiago Motta, who played with the Brazil icon.

Both Arsenal and Man Utd are tracking Zirkzee as the English giants try to strengthen their respective forward options.

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On May 13, TEAMtalk revealed that Arsenal are the best-placed club to snare Zirkzee. Man Utd’s chase for him is being complicated by the uncertainty surrounding Erik ten Hag’s future as manager.

It emerged earlier this week that Arsenal sporting director Edu has got the green light to sign Zirkzee from the player’s agent. The two have agreed a five-year contract worth £99,000 a week.

Arsenal transfers: Joshua Zirkzee makes hint

Ahead of Bologna’s clash against Juventus on Monday night, the 22-year-old attacker was asked about his future.

While Zirkzee admits he could stay at Bologna and help them in the UCL, he did hint that a big summer transfer is very much a possibility.

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

“There’s a lot going on, in the meantime we’re thinking about finishing the season well and then we’ll come back after the holidays and see what happens.”

In a major boost for Arsenal, they will now have to pay less for Zirkzee, despite him having a fantastic season.

Bologna have previously been tipped to hold out for as much as £60-70m, but reports in Italy now state that they will accept offers worth €40m (£34m).

That is the same fee which Bayern can re-sign Zirkzee for, though the Bundesliga heavyweights have different striker plans.

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