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Arsenal 'make contact with Bologna to discuss Joshua Zirkzee move'

Arsenal 'make contact with Bologna to discuss Zirkzee move'
© Reuters
Arsenal contact Italian side Bologna to discuss a summer deal centre-forward Joshua Zirkzee, according to a report.

Arsenal have reportedly been in touch with Bologna to register their interest in signing the Italian club's centre-forward Joshua Zirkzee during this summer's transfer window.

The 22-year-old has been in impressive form for his Serie A team this season, scoring nine goals and registering four assists in 23 appearances in all competitions.

There has been a host of speculation surrounding the Dutchman's future during the January market, with Manchester United said to be interested in signing him.

Bologna made it clear that a January deal would not be possible, but Zirkzee is expected to be on the move during this summer's transfer window.

According to Corriere dello Sport, Arsenal have made contact with Bologna to confirm their desire to secure the striker's services at the end of the 2023-24 campaign.

Bologna's Joshua Zirkzee celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on October 7, 2023© Reuters

The report claims that the Gunners are willing to pay in excess of €40m (£34m) for the Dutchman, but Man United could also be in the race for his signature.

Arsenal had seemingly been intending to move for a new centre-forward in January, with head coach Mikel Arteta appearing to want an upgrade on Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus.

However, the North London club will now wait until the end of the campaign to boost their attacking department, and it appears that Zirkzee is their leading target.

Bologna director Marco Di Vaio recently revealed that the €40m (£35m) release clause in his contract only applies to former club Bayern Munich.

Bayern Munich's Joshua Zirkzee pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Zirkzee turned out for Bayern between 2019 and 2022, but he only managed four goals in 17 appearances for the Munich giants before leaving for Bologna.

The forward has a contract with his Italian club until June 2026 and was again praised by Bologna boss Thiago Motta following his goal against AC Milan on Saturday.

"Zirkzee had an enormous performance, but so did all his teammates, it is hard to single anyone out. It's a pity, as I leave here with a strange sensation after the draw, we did everything to win," said Motta.

The striker now has a record of 11 goals and six assists in 44 appearances for his current side in all competitions.

Despite his impressive exploits at club level, the forward is still waiting to make his senior debut for the Netherlands.

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Bologna's Joshua Zirkzee celebrates scoring against Inter Milan on October 7, 2023
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