Athletic: ‘Deal now close’ as Man Utd agree to pay ‘sizeable’ Zirkzee commission

By Isak Möller -

Man Utd are closing in on the signing of Joshua Zirkzee, who has been on AC Milan’s radar for several months. Having agreed to pay the commission to the striker’s agent, the English side are about to close the deal. 

Zirkzee impressed with Bologna during the 2023-24 season, as did many players under Thiago Motta’s guidance, and Milan have been following him since November. He appeared to be close at one point but the agent commission stopped the whole thing, with the Rossoneri unwilling to meet these demands.

According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, Manchester United have swooped in and an agreement has been reached with both the player and his agent. The English side believe that the commission is ‘sizeable’, but that it’s worth paying given the overall cost of the player.

The release clause is set at €40m, after all, and few strikers of Zirkzee’s quality are valued at that amount. Ornstein adds ‘deal now close’ as Man Utd must decide whether to pay the clause or find another arrangement, but it seems to be just a matter of time.

In the meantime, Milan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are pushing for the arrival of Alvaro Morata, so it appears that they know that the Zirkzee race is lost.

Tags AC Milan Joshua Zirkzee Man Utd


  1. Prem clubs flexing their financial prowess once again. He’ll rot on the bench but the agent will make his millions.

  2. I was never convinced about Zirkzee. One good season and he’s not even a striker.

    I think Lukaku would fit better than Morata but Milan needs to get some deals across the finish line.

    Gyokeres news kinda quite down but I still think he is a good option and possibly the best option for Milan.

    1. I think Lukaku is a very good option. The guy is having a few problems with not being able to settle at a club in the last couple of seasons. I see him struggling under lack of trust in him and uncertainty like at Man Utd too. That’s not a very good trait to want to bring to Milan but go and follow big Lu when there’s clarity and settlement! He knows the environment,has the experience the leadership , the physical presence Fonseca wants and I believe challenging Inter will be a big motivation for him. Chelsea’s demands for him are high at 40 and no dry loans or with option to buy ,so it’d be complicated but I think a permanent move (maybe loan with obligation) will get the best out of Lukaku.

    2. How many times does this need to be explained? This is Zirkzee’s first season as a starter in a major league and only the second full season of his career. He has shown consistent progression and came from Bayern’s academy. That should tell you something about his pedigree. Players of his size don’t have his dribbling ability and flair. He’s an immense talent.

    3. Morata and Broja would be ideal and I think every Milan fan would be happy or even:
      Morata and Chiesa
      All these options are better then Zirkzee

      As Milan fans when Zlatan used the word “charity” the Zirkzee deal was dead and buried and I agree with Zlatan why should we pay €15m, just stupid, United are just desperate, are not in champions league nor will be for the foreseeable future, we have dodged a bullet, why did Motto not want him at Juve especially since he is getting rid of Chiesa

  3. I knew this was to good to be true why are we the only ones with this “commissions” Problem? Ive never heard this from juve, inter and other clubs. Wonder how the furlani moncada bootlickers defend this

    1. You’re talking about Man United here, a club that has spent more than 60m on Maguire, Antony, Pogba, a semi-retired Casemeiro and Jadon Sancho (who they paid to play for another team in a UCL final).

      I’m happy to be critical of the Milan exec and it sounds a bit like this summer has not been prepared for adequately (although let’s see how it goes), but I’m happy not to be held to ransom for 10m+ commissions by opportunistic agents and players who’d rather sit on a bench somewhere else.

    2. Objecting to €15 million in commission, the third highest in history, doesn’t make someone a bootlicker, rather it makes you sound like a complete and utter plank. Despite this point being made many times, despite many people explaining what paying such a high commission would do to future targets and to players looking to extend their contracts (see Donnarumma), you’re still criticising management for the one smart thing they have done this mercacto. You are an absolute embarassment.

    3. Manchester United can’t attract players and HAS to pay these ridiculous fees or no “talented” player will join them. You join Milan to win because that has been our history.

  4. Such a poor mentality, denying himself CL football and top Serie A contender to go warm a bech for a mid table joke of a club run by clowns that killed modern football by satisfying greedy agents… He will vanish from the spotlight to become a has been promising talent just because a guy wanted to make a few millions more. I’m glad he went there, we don’t want this small mentality in Milan , it’s the best outcome

      1. Are you seriously suggesting that we should have paid 15M to a guy for doing absolutely nothing on top of 40M for a 23yo player who had one good season? If the answer is yes then I strongly suggest you go support PSG or a Saudi club, there they don’t care about being an idiot

      2. Are you so poorly educated you actually think the owner of a football club would pay people to defend his policies on a random message board the vast majority of fans in the world has never heard of? Do you understand how anything works??!?

  5. This was NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN as with many of these deals.

    There are MANY PROBLEMS with this Ac milan club as with many other Italian teams all roads lead to the OWNERS.

    FYI there is no such thing as financial stability in football NEVER HAS BEEN AND NEVER WILL BE YOU WANT A TOP CLAAS TALENT PAY UP OR MISS OUT .

    1. I don’t think other Italian clubs are struggling the way we are doing, some deals are done in Napoli-Juventus-Inter.

      1. Remember all those articles that said Milan’s mercato was going to start late. Finseca arrived yesterday. I imagine outside a few targets Milan want their coach to meet the team before making decisions

  6. Good luck playing europa league. Kia greed will hurt zirkzee. He had one good season at a club without pressure at Manu he will have much more scrutiny. He won’t be a starter for them either not unless they play with 2 up top.

  7. I feel like people still miss the point of what this was. His agent reportedly several months ago was arguing with him that he can only go to England and he wanted to stay in serie a. He was delivered to England by his agent who legally can’t receive a 15M commission on a deal this size but the teams who he works for find ways to compensate him but I promise no paper work will show him receiving anything close to that number. The news outlets reporting on this picked an Arbitrary number of 15 but if they offered 15 he would make it 20. It’s simply another advantage these teams have in getting players.

  8. I’m glad this drama series will end and we won’t have to deal with a player with greedy agent.
    Like the Milan management or not, someone has to step up and stop this agent madness.
    It’s ridiculous to pay this high commission for a unproven gem who just has one good season in a Serie A mid-table team with no pressure and ambition.
    Premier league teams gave this tendency of buying average players for astronomical sum and let them sit on the bench or loan them out, then stuck with them until their contract runs out and leave for free to a bottom-table team.
    Anyway, good luck to him and the United

  9. After 35 years I’m handing in my badge and gonna get on with enjoying my wife and kids more. Unbelievably I’ve let football become too big in my life again. Its not about zirkzee, its tge absolute lack of ambition and cobbling together at the 11th hour. Players should be happy to join us not us being thankful for a 33 year old having one last roll if tge dice on us…ibra, giroud, morata, lukaku. No more for me. We’ve known since January this was fundamental and nothing has been done. Enough is enough. We’re a laughing stock. My sons getting in to football now he’s my team to watch now. Come get on the payroll morata

    1. So mr murreti you are expecting milan to spend 75 million on player that doesn’t international experience or one season player, if you are giving opportunity to manage milan, that is what you are going to do? You better stay off o, you want to compare morata with zirkzee, morata have both international and club experience than him pls

    2. That kids is the sound a bandwagon fan makes when jump they jump off the bandwagon. We’ll see you after the next trophy, have fun with your wife and kids.

      1. You don’t have a clue. 5 years we’ve needed to refresh the striker role. If you can’t see it you’re f@@kin blind. Bandwagon! I’m 35 years deep seen it all. You happy with this. Honestly? Don’t worry. I will

  10. Aside of this Zirkzee fiasco, what has this stance againts agents brought us so far? It’s not like that we won the 2nd star or European champion because if that stance. It’s useless if we’re the only club that do it. We’re not in the position to have leverage and such. So unless Fifa do something about it, we really don’t have a choice.

    If we already knew the commission is a sky high weeks ago, and dealing with that kind of agent, there’s no need to keep it dwelling. If we really have that stance, drop it, and move on to other available targets. Better yet, make an official club statement about this matter.

    To say that we have that higher-road stance againts agents, yet we’re still negotiating and begging to reduce the commission is just a pure balderdash.

    1. You’re overreacting. This €15 million fee is the third highest commission in the history of football so of course we weren’t going to pay it. Arsenal paid over €30 million in agents fees and renewals last season for 8 players, including one who was signed for €100 million. €15 million isn’t the going rate, it’s not even close to the average commission for an international player.

    1. So what. We never had a success with non Italian coach but we’re now Fonseca aren’t we. And not just Zirkzee, De Ligt is now close to United.

    2. What are you talking about? Stam, Van Nistelrooy, Van Persie and Van Der Sar were all excellent for Man United.

    3. van nistelrooy, van der saar ? really even staam didn’t do well there according to you, I think they did pretty well there but guess you just doesn’t have a clue what you are talking about here.

  11. Will this impact our world class players? Such as Theo, Leao and maignan? They might reconsider staying or extending as they see the club stature is below of the english league, at least financially. But signing moratta might turn out to be a good choice.

  12. The issue here isn’t the player or the names. The issue is not having an experienced Sporting Director. Giuntoli, Marotta, D’Amico even – all experienced sharks in these waters.

    While last summer the Mercado was pretty good, I do wonder sometimes what it would have looked like with the likes of Marotta running things given RedBird’s financial flex.

    Ibra making calls… okay. Is he any good at it? Motivation in the locker room is one thing. Transfers is a different beast altogether and Ibra has zero experience in that.

    I’m not attached to the Zee saga. I’m ok with him going to ManureUtd. Ultimately his agent tells him what to do.

    Given how last summer went, I’m not too worried about it. I’ll wait until the end of mercato to judge the brass.

    1. the re-signing or selling of players is where they need to be judged. It is the thing that was severely lacking previously. Clubs can only spend so much before running into the EUFA regulations, as seen by Newcastle who currently have owners with unlimited wealth and can’t spend it without selling. They will need to start doing better business in order to raise salaries and retain their talent and EUFA is only making these rules stricter in the next couple years. They can’t let players walk for free…i’d argue they cant let players get into the last 2 years of their contract without re-signing or selling…its too risky.

  13. The issue isn’t commissions.

    The issues isn’t which player to buy – we all have our opinions – neither right nor wrong.

    The issue is we are owned by an investment company that is concerned only about one thing – and that is PROFIT.

    Because of that, decisions that should be based on football – are not. The players are irrelevant. Every year the names change and every year we have the exact same process – and that is to spend as little amount of $ as possible so as to not ruin your profit margin. It is why we continually make low ball offers to players we have chased and supposedly scouted for months and months; ask players to slash their salary demands; seek only those players on expiring deals or free; seek inexperienced players with resale value; and blame commissions as a blocker to closing a deal. There will always be an excuse.

    This is MONEYBALL. If the algorithm says the player is only worth X we will not spend a dollar over X to get him. Nice on paper but that is not how teams that aspire to win consistent titles are made. Nice for the bottom line, but last I checked they don’t give out trophies for being the most profitable club – otherwise Atlanta would be the most historic club in the world – not Real Madrid.

    So the cycle will go on and on and each summer and winter will be the same. We are interested in X player and Y player and we foolish fans get excited for a while only to be disappointed when X and Y player are swooped up by other teams that don’t haggle over the players salary and don’t ask for discounts. Sure we will find a few reclamation projects for cheap discounts that will pan out (Pulisic) – but many will not – as that is not how clubs serious about WINNING TITLES operate.

    So enjoy the ride and the drama, and be prepared to be disappointed yet again when the majority of the names we are linked to sign elsewhere and Let’s just hope we can get a few decent players to be competitive and hopefully qualify for UCL – cause we need that to keep our profit margin – as that is all Redbird care about – and the cycle continues.

    Good times.

  14. Player – I am going to go to a mid table team in an unfamiliar league with no championship football.

    Me, a support – thank you for making your lack of ambition clear so I don’t invest my hopes in you.


  15. My guess is that we were put off by the high commission a long time ago and the media kept the idea of a deal alive. If we are indeed still interested then this really reflects poorly on management’s ability to negotiate or make up their minds. On the other hand if we knew the transfer was out of reach due to high commissions then we really should be looking at other targets much much sooner. Both reflect poor planning

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