Arsenal face fresh threat hijack threat as striker deal stalls

Willem Leijgraf
Willem Leijgraf
  • Updated: 17 Jun 2024 12:01 CDT
  • 3 min read
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, 2023/24

Joshua Zirkzee will almost certainly leave Bologna after the European Championship.

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The only question is which club the 22-year-old striker will sign for. For some time, Zirkzee seemed to be making a €40 million transfer to AC Milan, but according to Corriere dello Sport, Thiago Motta is also chasing the signature of his former pupil with his new club Juventus.

Motta and Zirkzee started their adventure at Bologna almost simultaneously, when the latter signed the attacker from Bayern Munich two years ago for €8.5m. Under the Brazilian-Italian coach, Zirkzee became an important link and was used in 57 matches. Last season, he scored 12 goals and recorded seven assists in 37 matches.

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With these performances, he narrowly secured a place in the Euro 2024 selection of the Dutch national team and appeared on the radar of the European elite.

Joshua Zirkzee and Thiago Motta
© IMAGO - Joshua Zirkzee and Thiago Motta

Juventus to hijack Zirkzee deal?

For a while, AC Milan seemed to be making off with him, after various Italian media reported an agreement between the Rossoneri and Zirkzee after triggering his €40m release clause. However, according to Corriere dello Sport, Motta has urged the club management of Juventus, where he will be at the helm next season, to secure the arrival of Zirkzee.

Raising the funds for the signing of Zirkzee, who reportedly wants to earn an annual salary of €4m, is described as difficult. "But according to Motta, a financial obstacle could also be turned into an advantage," writes the Italian sports newspaper.

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"Zirkzee would play as an attacking midfielder behind Dusan Vlahovic at Juventus, but could also replace the striker in the event of a possible departure." However, Zirkzee's future is completely open due to the difficult negotiations with his agent Kia Joorabchian.

AC Milan are still doing everything they can to get a deal done. However, the striker is in demand because of his buyout clause, which comes into effect on July 1. That is why Arsenal, Man Utd and Liverpool are also keen on the Dutchman.

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