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Top European Clubs in Fierce Battle for Bologna’s Rising Star

WOLFSBURG - Donyell Malen, Joshua Zirkzee, Georginio Wijnaldum, Jeremie Frimpong and Lutsharel Geertruida during a training session of the Dutch national team at the AOK Stadium on June 29, 2024 in Wolfsburg, Germany. The Dutch national team is preparing for the eighth finals at the European Football Championship in Germany against Romania. ANP KOEN VAN WEEL Credit: ANP/Alamy Live News
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As the summer transfer window approaches, the football world is buzzing with the potential move of Joshua Zirkzee. Fabrizio Romano’s recent tweet indicates that Bologna’s director, Sartori, has confirmed the player’s imminent departure, stating, “Joshua Zirkzee will 99.9% leave this summer.”

  • Manchester United is leading the charge to secure the Dutch striker’s signature.
  • Talks between United and Zirkzee’s representatives have been ongoing this week.
  • AC Milan has shown significant interest but faces unresolved commission issues with the player’s agents.

Manchester United’s Pursuit of Zirkzee

Manchester United is at the forefront of the race to sign Joshua Zirkzee. Discussions between United and the player’s representatives have been focused on contract terms, with the club’s board internally debating the benefits of adding the 23-year-old striker to their attacking lineup.


While Manchester United appears to be in pole position, AC Milan is also in the fray. Reports suggest that Milan’s interest is significant, but unresolved commission issues with Zirkzee’s agents have delayed their progress. This delay could work in United’s favor, as they aim to finalize the deal swiftly.

Zirkzee’s Career and Performance

Joshua Zirkzee’s career statistics justify the high level of interest. At Bologna, he made 34 appearances in the 2023/2024 season, scoring 11 goals. His performance has not only caught the eye of European giants but also solidified his reputation as a rising star in the football world.

Zirkzee’s journey through professional football has been marked by several significant moves:

  • Youth Clubs:
    • VV Hekelingen (?-2010)
    • ADO Den Haag (2010-2013)
    • Feyenoord (2013-2017)
    • Bayern Munich (2017-2019)
  • Professional Clubs:
    • Bayern Munich II: Promoted to the senior team in 2019
    • Bayern Munich: Played from 2019 to 2022
    • Loan to Parma: January 2021 to June 2021
    • Loan to Anderlecht: August 2021 to June 2022
    • Bologna: Joined on August 30, 2022, for a transfer fee of €8.5 million

Transfer Market Dynamics

Zirkzee’s potential transfer to Manchester United or AC Milan represents a significant step in his career. Both clubs are eager to bolster their squads, with United also targeting defensive reinforcements such as Bayern Munich’s Matthijs de Ligt and Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite.

For more detailed insights on the ongoing transfer saga, you can read about the competitive nature of the market and strategic moves by top clubs:

The upcoming weeks will be crucial as the transfer window heats up, and fans eagerly await the final decision on Joshua Zirkzee’s future.

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