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Manchester United accelerating pursuit of €40m-rated Joshua Zirkzee

Manchester United are stepping up their pursuit of highly-rated Bologna starlet Joshua Zirkzee amid AC Milan’s attempts to lure him to the San Siro.

According to CalcioMercato, the Red Devils have intensified their interest in the Netherlands international shortly after Erik ten Hag requested his arrival.

Tied to Renato Dall’Ara until 2026, Zirkzee is among the most prodigious forwards in Europe, let alone Serie A, with numerous top clubs keen to price him away from Bologna.

Despite naming the ex-Bayern Munich youngster a top candidate to replace Olivier Giroud, Milan couldn’t find common ground with the player’s agent Kia Joorabchian.

Zirkzee has a €40 million release clause in his contract, claims the Daily Mirror.

Though last season’s Serie A runners-up are willing to trigger it, Joorabchian’s insane demands for a compensation fee have blown them out of the water.

He’s reportedly asking for up to €15m to take his client away from Bologna, a figure Milan have no intention of paying.

Man United would probably need to quench Joorabchian’s thirst for money to sign the Dutchman, who bagged 12 goals and tallied seven assists across 37 competitive appearances in 2023/24.

Away on international duty with the Oranje, Zirkzee has put all negotiations over his future on hold until he returns home from the 2024 European Championship.

It gives the Old Trafford outfit more time to piece together a satisfying offer to outbid Milan, who remain the leading contenders to capture Zirkzee, per multiple sources in Italy.

Ten Hag sees versatile forward as an ideal fit for his system.

He has urged the club to increase their pressure on Bologna to sanction a deal, perhaps aware of a distinct possibility of Zirkzee joining Milan in the coming weeks.

Capable of covering several roles up front, Zirkzee would probably contest Rasmus Hojlund for a starting berth at the heart of Ten Hag’s attack.

But he can also operate on the wing and as a false nine, which would offer the former Ajax manager flexibility and options in his attacking line-up.

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