United given free run at £34m forward target after European giants lose momentum in race

David Ornstein confirmed on Tuesday that Manchester United were exploring a deal for Bologna’s Joshua Zirkzee.

He further clarified that a bid is yet to be made by the Red Devils, and no formal approach has been made to Bologna. However, talks have begun with his representatives.

One factor that’s likely drawing INEOS to Zirkzee is that he would be available for £34 million due to a release clause in his current contract. Given how United forked out an extortionate £64m (excluding the £8m in add-ons) to acquire Rasmus Hojlund last summer, being wiser on the business front is a must now Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his entourage have taken over the reins.

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Reports have previously suggested that the 23-year-old would prefer to stay in Serie A at this stage of his career, so the fact that AC Milan were the only other club in pursuit of his signature played right into Zirkzee’s hands.

Yet, Corriere dello Sport now claims that the Italian giants have lost their advantage in the transfer race with United, seemingly giving the Reds a free run at hashing out a deal; they’ll have to wait to discuss personal terms, though, as the striker is currently representing the Netherlands at the Euros.

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