Man Utd may be using Joshua Zirkzee as a smokescreen for a different striker signing – Football News

Man Utd may be using Joshua Zirkzee as a smokescreen for a different striker signing

Man Utd target Joshua Zirkzee. (Image: Getty)

Manchester United are reportedly ready to trigger Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee’s £34million release clause in an attempt to beat AC Milan to his signature. However, fresh claims suggest that another goalscorer – who would demand less of the summer transfer budget – could be at the summit of the Red Devils’ shortlist.

Erik ten Hag will add a new striker to his squad in the coming months as Anthony Martial prepares to depart Old Trafford as a free agent on July 1.

Rasmus Hojlund was short of competition and support throughout his maiden season in England, with Martial absent for the majority due to injury.

Zirkzee has been heavily touted as United’s first-choice target despite Milan’s long-standing interest and Champions League status.

But Sport1 claim that the M16 giants’ desire to sign Zirkzee has been blown out of proportion due to the likely cost of a deal.

The 23-year-old could be financially out of reach once the transfer fee is combined with his salary and agent’s demands.

United are said to be looking at cheaper alternatives, suggesting Ten Hag wants Hojlund to continue as his starting striker next season.

And a report from i Sport has placed Lille’s Jonathan David firmly in the frame to land at Old Trafford this summer.

Jonathan David is on Man Utd's shortlist.

Jonathan David is on Man Utd’s shortlist. (Image: Getty)

United are claimed to be stepping up their hunt for attacking reinforcements and have made contact with David’s representatives over a potential switch.

However, the Red Devils reportedly face strong competition from Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Aston Villa.

David’s availability is no secret. Last week, Lille president Olivier Letang confirmed that the 24-year-old was up for sale ahead of his 2025 contract expiry.

He is believed to have a price tag worth around £25m, which may have tempted United to switch their attention towards David rather than Zirkzee.

But considering the rival interest in the Canada international, INEOS could be looking to edge closer to his signature in the shadows rather than making their pursuit public.

Whether a striker will be United’s first transfer of the summer remains to be seen. New arrivals in defence and midfield are also expected amid multiple first-team exits to boost the budget.

A centre-back appears to be the highest priority, with Everton already rejecting a £43m approach for Jarrad Branthwaite.

United are also actively pursuing a deal for David’s Lille team-mate, Leny Yoro, although he is believed to be Real Madrid-bound if the European champions advance their interest.