Report: Arsenal competing with Man Utd & Milan for £34m-rated striker

  • Arsenal remain interested in Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee
  • Milan leading race for 23-year-old
  • Benjamin Sesko is Gunners' striker priority
Joshua Zirkzee has just a £34m release clause at Bologna
Joshua Zirkzee has just a £34m release clause at Bologna / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

Arsenal remain interested in signing Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee this summer, but Milan are the current front-runners to land the Dutchman's signature.

Links with Zirkzee first emerged in January with Arsenal, who endured a goal-shy period at the turn of the new year, poised to sign a new number nine in the winter. The club held off, though, and Kai Havertz's productive run of form up to during the second half of the season was vindication for their patience.

Despite the German's uptick, Arsenal are still very much expected to acquire a striker ahead of the 2024/25 campaign. However, the presence of Havertz and potentially Gabriel Jesus, should he remain in north London, means the Gunners can afford to sign more of a project forward as opposed to the finished product.

Arsenal are reportedly prioritising a move for RB Leipzig's Benjamin Sesko, with the player set to make a decision over his future before the start of Euro 2024.

Arsenal interested in Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee - who has £34m release clause

As it stands, Zirkzee appears to be a potential fallback option if Sesko opts against leaving the Bundesliga this summer.

Sky Sports News reports that Arsenal remain interested in the Bologna striker, who enjoyed a superb 2023/24 campaign as the Rossublu secured their long-awaited return to the Champions League. Zirkzee scored just 11 Serie A goals in 34 games, but the young striker impressed in other departments, particularly his hold-up and combination play.

The Dutchman is a silky smooth operator up top, one that loves to drop in and work between the lines. His profile is interestingly distinctly different from Sesko's, who's much more of an athletic demon who runs the channels doggedly. Zirkzee is more of the Ivan Toney mould.

The 23-year-old, who wasn't called up to the Netherlands squad by Ronald Koeman for the Euros. requires refinement and he's far from a ruthless goalscorer. However, Arsenal, given that Zirkzee has a reported £34m release clause wouldn't be taking much of a risk by signing the Bologna star.

Man Utd are also keen on Zirkzee, but Milan have put in the most groundwork so far having already opened talks with the player's representatives. At this stage, Arsenal merely have an interest.