CM: Milan’s confidence, Juve’s plan and Arsenal’s attempt – the latest on Zirkzee

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan are the team that are currently in pole position to land Joshua Zirkzee, a report claims, but there is a lot to unpack regarding his future with many clubs in the running.

As report, Zirkzee has attracted a lot of interest given that he has scored 12 goals and has added seven assists in 35 appearances this season, helping Bologna towards qualification for the next edition of the Champions League.

The Dutch striker ended up in the sights of Milan, Juventus and Inter, but Bayern Munich have a buy-back clause and there have been many scouts sent by Premier League clubs, all of which make the situation complicated.

Domestic competition

It seems as though one of the suitors has dropped out. Inter looked willing to try and use Giovanni Fabbian and Valentin Carboni as counterparts to bring down the cash sum, yet the operation overall looks too costly for them to pull off without a big sale.

Milan and Juve are thus the main competitors and the Bianconeri would like to wait, avoiding an auction. They want Bayern to take advantage of the buy-back clause, and then begin a negotiations with the Bavarians, also thanks to the excellent relations between the two clubs (as demonstrated by the De Ligt deal.

Juve know that any combination of Kean, Milik and Vlahovic could leave in the summer and thus a new centre-forward is needed, while the Bianconeri are also tempted by the idea of sacking Massimiliano Allegri and hiring Thiago Motta (with whom there is already a verbal agreement) to work with Zirkzee again.

Milan in pole

Milan were the first club to move for Zirkzee and they have already set aside a big portion of the summer budget for the addition of a new striker, knowing they need to replace the outgoing Olivier Giroud.

The Rossoneri will not participate in any auctions, but they have already had several direct contacts with the player’s entourage. Even though the head coach is likely to change, Milan still want the 22-year-old and they hope to use Alexis Saelemaekers as a counterpart to bring down the €60m price.

The Belgian winger is on loan at Bologna with an option to buy for €10m, but given the good season he has had under the orders of Motta, a permanent stay appeals to all parties, so he will be involved in negotiations.

Meanwhile, the hope is to recoup further money from sales: Charles De Ketelaere will remain at Atalanta, Daniel Maldini is close to being bought by Monza, while Divock Origi, Fodé Ballo Tourè, Marco Pellegrino and Luka Romero could all be sold.

In addition to that, the report mentions that Zirkzee himself seems to be attracted by the idea of moving to Milan and becoming their next No.9.

For all these reasons, at present the feeling is that Milan are slightly ahead of the competition. Now Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Geoffrey Moncada are waiting for Bayern Munich’s decision on the €40m buy-back.

Competition from England

It was obvious that, even across the Channel, clubs would notice Zirkzee. Every time Bologna play at home, there are numerous scouts in the stands who come from Germany, France, Spain and above all from England, where in the Premier League, some clubs have already made moves.

Emissaries from Manchester United, Aston Villa and above all Arsenal have arrived in Italy to follow him, with the Gunners ready to offer him a salary of €6m net per season, staggering numbers for a player who earns €900k per season.

Arsenal are aware that Zirkzee is very comfortable in Italy, where he would willingly stay, and that he is not crazy about the idea of ​​returning to Bayern Munich given the presence of Harry Kane. For this reason the Gunners are preparing the assault, offering such a high salary.

The threat is concrete: the showcase of the most famous championship in the world and the possibility of becoming a starter with Mikel Arteta (given Arsenal is ready to listen to offers for Gabriel Jesus in the summer) risk enticing the Dutch talent.

It is clear that a new attack on Vlahovic by Arteta’s team would change the cards on the table, both for Milan and for Juventus, so as always the Premier League will have a lot of influence on where ‘JZ’ ends up.

Tags AC Milan Joshua Zirkzee


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