Man Utd told they could be handing ‘new Ronaldinho’ to Arsenal, Liverpool or Man City | Football | Sport

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Manchester United could reportedly hand their Premier League rivals a free run at Joshua Zirkzee after their interest in the Bologna star ‘diminished’. Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City have all been linked with the Dutchman.

Zirkzee has found form with the Serie A side this season. He has scored 10 goals and provided six assists in 27 appearances across all competitions.

The 22-year-old has been strongly linked with a switch to the Premier League ahead of the summer transfer window. United have reportedly ‘analysed’ a potential deal, with Erik ten Hag keen to sign another forward.

Arsenal, Liverpool and City are also admirers. The competition for Zirkzee’s signature has reportedly dwindled after United reduced their interest.

According to Sky Germany, the Red Devils’s position in the race to sign Zirkzee has ‘diminished’. That could see another top-flight team sign a player who has previously been compared to Ronaldinho by one of the Brazilian’s former Barcelona team-mates.

Thiago Motta has been Bologna’s head coach since September 2022. The former midfielder also played alongside Ronaldinho at Barca.

Motta said earlier this season: “He (Zirkzee) said that his idols are Ibrahimovic and Batistuta, who are two excellent players.

“Seeing him day to day, he reminds me of the Ronaldinho I played with at Barcelona, but I cannot compare him to anyone. He is Joshua, he is special, he enjoys his football and above all works very hard in training.

“Since the first day of pre-season, he has always been the first to arrive at the camp. He has become a leader and it’s all to his credit. We just need to keep accompanying him, because he is certainly on the right path.”

Zirkzee is well aware of interest from major European clubs. He gave a cryptic response when asked if he could depart Bologna in the summer, insisting that he will not ‘waste’ his talent.

“I was given this gift from god that I can play football and I do not want to waste that talent,” Zirkzee said. “I am convinced god has a plan for me.”

Arsenal, Liverpool and City are all likely to strengthen their respective attacks in the summer. United might have reconsidered their own plans to add to their forward line due to the improved form of Rasmus Hojlund.

It was initially felt that the Dane needed competition for his place after a tough start in the Premier League. However, he has now scored eight goals in his last seven appearances, with a brace against Luton Town on Sunday maintaining United’s Champions League hopes.


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