Source: Man Utd close in on €40m striker Zirkzee

Manchester United are closing in on a deal for Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee, a source has told ESPN.

United have reached a broad agreement over payments relating to Zirkzee’s representatives, which had been a stumbling block, and will now seek to reach a deal with Bologna.

Zirkzee has a release clause of £34 million ($43.5m) in his contract which is valid until August, but United may look to negotiate a different deal.

The 23-year-old, who has also been subject of interest from AC Milan, is part of the Netherlands squad preparing for their Euro 2024 semifinal against England in Dortmund on Wednesday.

Zirkzee has emerged as United’s preferred striker target after they also considered both Lille’s Jonathan David and Brentford’s Ivan Toney.

Chelsea have also shown interest in David, who has one year left on his contract at Lille and is available for around £25m.

Zirkzee scored 12 goals for Bologna last season as they finished fifth in Serie A, qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in the modern era.

A source has told ESPN that United remain in contact with Bayern Munich over a deal for Zirkzee’s international teammate, Matthijs de Ligt.

The German side are willing to negotiate the defender’s exit and value the 24-year-old at more than £40m. United have already seen a bid turned down for Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite this summer.

Bringing in a striker, a centre-back and a central midfielder are United’s priorities in the summer window. Dan Ashworth has now taken control of recruitment following his arrival as sporting director last week.

Midfielder Donny van de Beek, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt, is set to join Girona in a permanent deal worth around £420,000. The fee could increase depending on his success at Girona.

United signed the former Netherlands international midfielder from Ajax in a £40m deal in 2020.

United players who have not taken part in either the European Championship or the Copa América are expected back at Carrington for the start of preseason training on Monday.

Ten Hag has boosted his backroom staff by adding to its Dutch contingent, with legendary striker Ruud van Nistelrooy and Rene Hake agreeing two-year deals with the club.

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