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Man United handed boost as Zirkzee alternative 'rejects' contract offer

Man Utd-linked striker 'rejects' contract offer from current club
© Reuters
Manchester United are allegedly handed a boost with it being claimed that a striker on their radar has rejected a contract offer from his current club.

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has seemingly been left with an extra option to bolster his attack during the summer transfer window.

Having penned a contract extension, the Dutchman is working with the club's footballing operations team to acquire his desired targets.

Given recent reports, it appears that strengthening in the centre of his defence is the priority with three players allegedly on their radar.

Bayern Munich's Matthijs de Ligt has allegedly agreed personal terms with the Red Devils, while bids are said to have been submitted for Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite and Lille's Leny Yoro.

However, there is also a need to sign a new centre-forward to compete with Ramus Hojlund, with Anthony Martial having been released on a free transfer.

As well as the reports speculating about De Ligt, Dutch compatriot Joshua Zirkzee is allegedly closing in on a transfer from Bologna to Old Trafford.

Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates scoring against Burnley on April 6, 2024© Reuters

Calvert-Lewin still of interest to Man United

United have also been linked with an approach for Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who only has 12 months remaining on his contract at Goodison Park.

According to TEAMtalk, there have been no positive developments for Everton with regards to a new deal with the England international said to have rejected their latest offer.

The report suggests that everything is pointing to the 27-year-old moving onto pastures new before the end of August with Everton not in a position to risk losing their long-term talisman on a free transfer.

Although Calvert-Lewin contributed just seven goals and two assists in the Premier League during 2023-24, the fact that he was fit enough to feature in 32 top-flight fixtures was a major plus after his previous injury struggles.

Newcastle United had been trying to get a transfer over the line before June 30 when the respective clubs needed to fulfil the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability regulations, but that move has since been scrapped.

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag on May 12, 2024© Reuters

Would Ten Hag be prepared to sign two forwards?

Recent reports have indicated that Ten Hag is not against pairing Zirkzee with another central striker, whether that be Hojlund or someone else.

The 23-year-old is capable of being deployed in a deeper role, yet that would influence where Bruno Fernandes fits into Ten Hag's side.

As it stands, United spending at least £60m on two forwards appears unlikely. Their central-defensive situation needs resolving, while alternatives may be required at left-back and in the engine room.

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