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Manchester United Reach Broad Agreement with Bologna for Striker Joshua Zirkzee

Manchester United have made significant progress in their pursuit of Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee, reaching a broad agreement over payments relating to the player’s representatives, which had previously been a stumbling block.

The 23-year-old Dutch international, who is part of the Netherlands squad preparing for their Euro 2024 semifinal against England, has emerged as United’s preferred striker target after they also considered Lille’s Jonathan David and Brentford’s Ivan Toney.

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Zirkzee has a release clause of £34 million ($43.5 million) in his contract, which is valid until August, but United may look to negotiate a different deal with Bologna. The striker scored 12 goals for the Italian club last season as they qualified for the Champions League for the first time in the modern era.

In addition to their interest in Zirkzee, United remain in contact with Bayern Munich over a deal for the defender Matthijs de Ligt, Zirkzee’s international teammate. Bayern are willing to negotiate the 24-year-old’s exit and value him at more than £40 million.

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Bringing in a striker, a centre-back, and a central midfielder are United’s priorities in the summer transfer window. The club’s new sporting director, Dan Ashworth, has now taken control of recruitment following his arrival last week.

Meanwhile, midfielder Donny van de Beek, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt, is set to join Girona in a permanent deal worth around £420,000, with the fee potentially increasing based on his success at the Spanish club.

United players who did not participate in the European Championship or the Copa América are expected to report back to Carrington for the start of preseason training on Monday. Manager Erik ten Hag has also bolstered his backroom staff, adding legendary striker Ruud van Nistelrooy and Rene Hake on two-year deals.

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