Arsenal boss Arteta made to sweat by club chief after ‘setting £43m aside’ for summer deal | Football | Sport

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been left to sweat over the Gunners’ touted summer transfer swoop for Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee, with Bayern Munich board member Karl-Heinz Rummenigge refusing to rule out activating the striker’s bargain buy-back clause.

Zirkzee spent five years on Bayern’s books before heading to Serie A at the start of last season. The Dutchman has come on leaps and bounds since settling in at Bologna, having reached double figures in the league this campaign.

Still only 22 years old, Zirkzee is reported to have numerous top European suitors ahead of the summer window. Gazzetta dello Sport claim that Arsenal are among them, with £43million said to be ‘set aside’ to fund their upcoming transfer bid.

However, Bayern retain the upper-hand thanks to a buy-back clause included in the agreement that took him to Bologna. The German giants can undercut the competition and re-sign Zirkzee for only £34m.

Bayern legend Rummenigge, who spent a decade at the club as a player before moving into a boardroom role, has done little to put Arteta’s mind at ease. “It’s up to [director of sport] Max Eberl [whether we activate the clause],” he said. “I don’t want to enter into his job.

“I don’t know if we will activate the clause for Zirkzee or not. It will be part of our summer strategies.” Arsenal face a nervous wait to discover whether the millions they have reportedly left in reserve can be put to good use.

Arsenal are expected to pursue a new striker this summer as Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah lag behind their fellow forwards at Liverpool and Manchester City. The Gunners pair have only nine Premier League goals between them.

The likes of Victor Osimhen and Ivan Toney have been linked to the Emirates Stadium, but both players would cost more than twice as much as Zirkzee if Arsenal’s £43m outlay proves sufficient to get the job done.

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