Zlatan Ibrahimovic confirms AC Milan are no longer chasing Manchester United target

Zlatan Ibrahimovic admits AC Milan are no longer in the race to sign Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee.

The 23-year-old is subject to extensive talks between Manchester United and his representatives.

According to Sky Sports, an agreement on terms with the player exists, so progress will likely be made after Euro 2024.

It is understood that United will meet Zirkzee’s £34m release clause to secure the Dutch centre-forward, although discussions are taking place over whether the Reds will pay the clause in full or negotiate a structure with the Serie A side.

AC Milan were linked with a move for Zirkzee this summer, but Ibrahimovic says they’ve moved on to identify a new target.

The former United striker appears to be leading the new project at Milan, so his comments carry weight.

“Zirkzee? It’s the past for us,” Ibrahimovic said, as quoted by Fabrizio Romano.

“We already have the new striker in mind but I’m not gonna tell you the name.”

The biggest reason for Ibrahimovic not revealing the name of Milan’s chosen striker target is he doesn’t want another deal hijacked by a bigger club.

Speaking at a press conference last month, Ibrahimovic said (via Football Italia): “Last year Milan made a great transfer market, we needed to lay the foundations. This market will focus above all on details. After Giroud’s departure, we need a new number 9.

“Jovic is there, but we are looking for a new striker. Zirkzee is a strong player, he comes from a great season. He comes from the Netherlands, whether he is another Ibra or not… there is a big difference between reality and what is said and written.”

Ibrahimovic added: “When we talk about negotiations, we think that a club are under pressure and are trying to exploit the situation. It’s a negotiation, it goes back and forth, it’s not a charity. It has to go well for the club. We’re smart and intelligent, it’s not rock and roll.”

This is encouraging news as far as United are concerned because it may mean Zirkzee has his heart set on a move to Old Trafford.

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