Manchester United lead the race to sign Bologna forward Joshua Zirkzee despite interest from rivals Arsenal.
The Red Devils are the only club to have held transfer talks with the former Bayern Munich star.
Zirkzee, 22, rose through the youth system at Bayern Munich but struggled to make the breakthrough at senior level before joining Bologna in 2022.
After a slow debut year in Italy, the forward has impressed this term after scoring seven goals and creating two assists in 19 Serie A appearances this year.
Erik ten Hag is desperate to bolster his frontline and is eyeing up to sign the ex-Netherlands U21 star in the summer.
Reports have claimed that Zirkzee’s contract with Bologna includes a £34m release clause.
But club director Marco Di Vaio has confirmed that option exists only for his former employers Bayern.
However, a deal to return to the Bundesliga is unlikely as Man Utd are the only club to begin formative talks to recruit the Dutchman.
Zirkzee, who remains under contract with Bologna until 2026, has been integral in the club’s push for Champions League qualification.
Thiago Motta’s side are seventh in the standings but sit just two points behind Fiorentina in fourth.
Zirkzee caught Europe’s attention after his successful debut season with Bayern.
He assisted the German giants to a continental treble – the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFL Super Cup.