Man Utd reason for paying above release clause for Joshua Zirkzee becomes clear – Football News

Man Utd reason for paying above release clause for Joshua Zirkzee becomes clear

Manchester United are set to sign Joshua Zirkzee from Bologna (Image: GETTY)

Manchester United have reportedly agreed to pay Bologna a transfer fee in excess of Joshua Zirkzee’s release clause in exchange for spreading their payment for the ace over three years. The striker will become the first Red Devils signing of the INEOS era after Sir Jim Ratcliffe became a minority shareholder in February.

United suffered a dismal season last time around but have backed Erik ten Hag to stick around as manager after he led the team to FA Cup success.

And the Dutchman is desperate to add more talent to his squad as he looks to compete for silverware on all fronts next season.

According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, United will pay Bologna just shy of £36million for Zirkzee after declining the opportunity to meet the requirements of his £34m release clause. And their decision means they will avoid the need to stump up all the cash at once.

Zirkzee will reportedly have a United medical on Friday and will then sign a contract to keep him at Old Trafford until the summer of 2029, with the option of staying an extra year.

And he will battle with Rasmus Hojlund for a place in the Red Devils line-up when the new Premier League season gets underway next month.

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Zirkzee, who was part of the Netherlands squad at Euro 2024, came through the Bayern Munich youth system after spending time with the academies of Spartaan 20, ADO Den Haag and Feyenoord in the Netherlands.

But following loan spells at Parma and Anderlecht, the 23-year-old joined Bologna on a permanent deal two years ago after making just 17 first-team appearances for the Bundesliga giants.

He found the back of the net twice during his maiden campaign in Italy but kicked on last season as he contributed 12 goals and seven assists in 37 matches. And his performances piqued the attention of a whole host of clubs, with United coming out on top of a transfer tussle.

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Joshua Zirkzee

Manchester United target Joshua Zirkzee has been part of the Netherlands squad at Euro 2024 (Image: GETTY)

At 6ft 3in, Zirkzee will provide the Red Devils with a physical presence in the final third of the field, with his stature matching that of some of the best strikers in Premier League history. And his technical ability has also been widely lauded thanks to his creativity and flair.

United will focus their efforts on getting the deal over the line as quickly as possible, with the 13-time Premier League champions set to head to Norway over the weekend ahead of their tour to USA at the end of the month.

Ten Hag’s side will then get their Premier League season underway in mid-August when they host Fulham.