GdS: ‘Zirkzee: yes to Milan’ – why the €50m operation is now a concrete possibility

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan have made Joshua Zirkzee their number one target ahead of the summer and it seems that they have a mutual admiration for each other, a report claims.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) writes that Zirkzee will be at the centre of a hundred rumours and more than a few tense phone calls in the coming weeks.

Knowing now whether he will go abroad, stay in Italy or even in Bologna is impossible, but his preference is clear: Zirkzee would gladly stay in Serie A, to continue to grow without changing leagues, and considers Milan a welcome destination.

Mutual approval

Milan and Zirkzee currently look at each other from a distance with the air of those who have a shared affinity. Milan put the striker first on their wish list and Bologna’s No.9 likes the idea of taking the step.

JZ played at San Siro and, in the most difficult stadium in Italy, he demonstrated that he is not afraid of pressure: a great game against both Inter and Milan. Certainly, he prefers Milan to Bayern Munich, who have a €40m buy-back.

Zirkzee has already been at Bayern and it didn’t end very well: a year and a half in the Bundesliga, just 12 games, no more than four as a starter. He has no great interest in returning and Bayern, who play with Harry Kane up front, they do not consider him central in their project for 2025 either.

A unique chance

Milan, on the other hand, can offer an interesting project to Zirkzee. The Rossoneri will certainly not become the favourites for the Scudetto in the summer – they are far from Inter and will lose Olivier Giroud – but they can give an emerging centre-forward a unique stage.

Joshua at Milan would be No.9 and in fact, he would have Marco van Basten’s old shirt on his shoulders and the pressure of those who have to support the attack. It is something that can crush those who are not ready but also boost those who have the mentality of a champion.

Joshua knows that at Milan he would not change drastically, he would face a league and a group of opponents that he knows well, at the same time he would test himself in the Champions League and with a great team.

The Saelemaekers factor

Milan are working on the deal and they will try, even if the negotiation will be complex. Bologna, when thinking about the asking price, are looking at Rasmus Hojlund’s move to Manchester United for €75m plus €10m in bonuses as the benchmark.

They cannot help but consider that Joshua has similar numbers: he is a bit older but it already above the 10 goals scored by the Dane last season with Atalanta. Milan – and this is certain – cannot climb to valuations of €70-80m and must find another solution.

They will focus on Zirkzee’s will and go beyond the amount spent two summers ago for Charles De Ketelaere. It is reasonable to hypothesise that Milan could reach close to €50m, putting Saelemaekers in the operation for €10m who Thiago Motta really likes.

Bologna would not like to tie the winger’s redemption into the operation and still have hope of keeping Zirkzee for another year but they also know that the market, between April and August, changes a lot and very quickly.

The competition

If you wonder who and what can change the cards on the table, obviously look abroad, to the Premier League in particular. The big teams of England, as well as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, PSG, have an unknown purchasing power compared to Italian club.

Manchester United have already made a move for Zirkzee and, if they returned with a big cheque, would have a good chance of pleasing everyone (except Milan, who would have to look elsewhere). The same goes for Arsenal, who are less talked about but have a perfect project for JZ.

The variable also applies to Milan’s summer. It is no mystery that Mike Maignan, Theo Hernandez and Rafa Leao are on the wish lists of many great teams. Should Milan sell one of these, everything could change.

Tags AC Milan Joshua Zirkzee


  1. Let’s not forget we’re most probably getting CdK and Origi back. While CdK could be sold for profit to PL after good showing at Atalanta, Origi will probably need to be forced out. Hopefully to Saudi.

        1. Why would they NOT redeem the buy clause? You’re literally the only person I’ve seen claim anything other than “Atalanta will definitely keep him.”

  2. Still alot for zirkzee but needed. Need to get calafiori too for lb/cb and even a fill in for dm. And hes italian.

  3. What if Bologna is among the four for the Champions League !? I’m not sure that they would sell the best players, especially not with the discount that we would need to negotiate a transfer.

    1. Well if Bologna make CL they will be in perfect position to attract talent, would make perfect sense to sell at. Fairly high prices and recruit more easily with CL football as bate. Perfect strategy for a club of Bolognas stature. It’s not like they will aim to win CL right?

  4. Tbh, milan dont need player like this. Milan already have typical like this on okafor / leao. Milan more needed a bomber like giroud, ibra or inzaghi maybe…

    1. @Marcell. Totally agree. Milan need a classic CF who can score goals. Zirkzee is not a CF and he plays better with another striker just live Jovic.

      Zirkzee would struggle to score goals consistently at Milan. Zirkzee told Corriere della Sera in February: “I’m not a pure centre forward. I said a year ago that I liked playing with an attacking partner. But [Thiago] Motta transformed me into a 9 and a half. I’m not an [Marko] Arnautovic type.

      Again, as I mentioned above Zirkzee would struggle to score goals consistently at Milan and we need a number 9. Sigh!

      I hope Milan management doesn’t make the mistake of signing him.

      We need someone like Guirassy, Dovbek from Girona, Icardi, Nesyri from Sevilla, etc.

      1. Definitely bro.. milan needed a classic striker who can make minimum 15 goals / season. Milan need player like inzaghi / batistuta who can make a score only with 1 shot and 1 goal. Hehe…

  5. Bologna knows they will never be getting Holjund money for him, that’s a fact. Man utd overpay for literally anyone because clubs know they just will. Milan don’t have that cash, and nobody is gonna make an offer that size

  6. Not sure how Milan plan to attack this, but I would go to Bayern, ask them to buy the player back and turn around and sell him to Milan.

    In return you promise them priority on either Mike/Theo should either want to leave. Or a small discount or something. But hey, what do I know….

  7. Bologna need to pay BM 40% from JZ sale . It is normal they target PL club like MU,arsenal ,chelsea to pay 70-80m euro for JZ . If ACM buy JZ 50m euro then bologna only get 30m euro .

  8. if Atalanta not sign CDK, then give him + $ to get Zee,
    both is SS, Zee want to proof that he’s big club player & CDK also can play CL w/ Bologna & try his luck w/ Motta, maybe he can help just like he did w/ Zee after Bayern

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