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Man Utd transfer news: The next Ivan Toney? Dutch sensation on Red Devils’ radar

Milan Keskin
Ivan Toney, Man Utd, 2023/24
© ProShots

Bologna‘s Joshua Zirkzee is the latest striker to appear on the transfer radar of Manchester United, who are desperately looking for goals.

Striker Rasmus Hojlund, who signed from Atalanta for €74 million last summer, only recently scored his first goal in the Premier League, and it is hoped that the arrival of Zirkzee would solve this problem in Manchester.

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Sitting in fifth place in Serie A, Bologna are the surprise in Italy this season. The unexpected success of the minnows can largely be attributed to the excellent performances of Zirkzee. The youth product of ADO Den Haag and Feyenoord has scored seven goals in 19 Serie A matches and has already attracted the attention of numerous top clubs, including AC Milan, Newcastle United and Napoli.

Italian media report Manchester United also have an eye on the 22-year-old striker from Zaandam.

According to data analytics firm SciSports, Zirkzee is a player who bears resemblance to the likes of Brentford forward Ivan Toney and Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann, both of whom have been linked with Man Utd in the recent past.

Furthermore, the analytics experts also indicate that the Dutchman bears a resemblance to Anthony Martial, a player who will be released on a free transfer in the summer and who he could well replace in Man Utd’s squad should a transfer come to fruition.

SciSports add that Zirkzee, who is considered around the same standard as Hojlund but who has an Estimated Transfer Value of €15.6m, would likely be a backup player at first at Man Utd but has the potential to become a first-team regular.

Joshua Zirkzee, Bologna
© ProShots – Joshua Zirkzee, Bologna

Zirkzee unlikely to make Man Utd move in January

Erik ten Hag’s team are having a very disappointing season, which is simply due to the lack of goals. It is telling that central midfielder Scott McTominay is currently the club’s joint-top scorer with five goals.

Despite the interest from the Red Devils, it seems unlikely that Zirkzee will make the switch in January.

Manchester United still have to deal with the limits of the Financial Fair Play regulations, which are preventing major investment in the squad. They will have to sell players before it can spend money.

A loan deal is improbable as it is highly unlikely that Bologna will agree to Zirkzee’s departure this month for a big fee, let alone a loan.

Technical director Marco Di Vaio told La Gazzetta dello Sport that Zirkzee is not allowed to leave: “We have not received any calls for Zirkzee. And we wouldn’t listen to them anyway. Joshua is a number nine and a half, he doesn’t look like anyone else.”

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