INEOS now have ‘cautious optimism’ after ‘positive talks’ they can make ‘spectacular’ player their first signing

Manchester United may just be edging closer to their first summer signing, which would also mark their first-ever acquisition of the INEOS era.

The Red Devils have found themselves linked with a host of players in recent months, speculation which, of course, has only increased since the window opened on June 14.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his entourage are well aware that numerous positions are in dire need of strengthening before Bruno Fernandes leads the side out for their opening fixture of 2024/2025. Primarily, fans are expecting to see more than one centre-half brought in, as well as a clinical No.9 to ease the goalscoring burden on Rasmus Hojlund.

Alas, club chiefs are seemingly closing in on a deal for the latter, as a fresh update from Sky Sports claims United have ‘cautious optimism’ that they can get a deal over the line for Joshua Zirkzee. Currently, they’re locked in ‘positive talks’ with the Bologna star’s representatives in hopes of eventually activating his £34 million release clause.

Zirkzee boasts a plethora of top-flight experience despite being just 23 years old; he became a treble-winner with Bayern Munich in 2020 before departing Germany to complete two loan spells with Parma and Anderlecht, after which he joined Serie A outfit Bologna permanently in 2022.

Talks with Zirkzee will have to wait until after Euros

Still awaiting his senior international debut, the Netherlands youth international was called up to Ronald Koeman’s Euro 2024 squad in place of sidelined players, although he is yet to feature at the tournament.

One of Zirkzee’s former Anderlecht coaches, Willem Wejis, previously lauded the youngster’s ‘good physique’ – he’s 6ft 4in tall, for reference – and his ‘really spectacular’ abilities.

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