Barcelona rival Chelsea, Manchester United in Joshua Zirkzee pursuit

The race to secure the signature of Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee has intensified, with Barcelona reportedly entering the fray alongside Premier League clubs Chelsea and Manchester United.

Despite their financial troubles, Barcelona are expected to be active in the transfer market in the summer, and their search for a centre-forward is now said to include Bologna’s Joshua Zirkzee, reports Italian outlet Tutto Juve.

Joshua Zirkzee in red-hot form with Bologna

The 22-year-old came through the youth ranks at Feyenoord before being snapped up by Bayern Munich at the age of 16 on a professional contract. He scored four goals in 12 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern while having loan spells at Parma and Anderlecht.

However, it was his form at Anderlecht in 2021/22, where he netted 16 goals in 38 league games, that earned the move to Bologna for €8.5 million. After a slow debut year in Italy, the forward has impressed this term after scoring nine goals and creating four assists in 24 Serie A appearances this year, playing a huge role in Thiago Motta’s side’s charge for European spots in the Italian league.

Indeed, Zirkzee’s stellar form has caught the eye of several elite clubs across the continent, with Chelsea and Manchester United said to be among the Premier League clubs keen on landing his services in the upcoming summer transfer window.

It is no secret that Chelsea need a striker this summer and have been linked with big names like Victor Osimhen and Ivan Toney for some time now. But a younger and cheaper option like Zirkzee also makes sense as someone the club might be keeping an eye on.

As for Manchester United, they will focus on signing top young talents this summer following the arrival of new minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is planning a squad rebuild and wants to make Old Trafford the best place to develop hot prospects.

Zirkzee’s goalscoring prowess could come in hand at Old Trafford, as Erik Ten Hag has not seen the best of Marcus Rashford this season, even if it is clear there will be plenty of competition for his signature.

Barcelona to rival Chelsea and Manchester United in Joshua Zirkzee hunt

With Raphinha facing an uncertain future at the club and Joao Felix at the club only on loan, the Catalan giants are in the market for a versatile attacker heading into the summer transfer window.

While Zirkzee is primarily a striker, he can drop and operate in the playmaker role, linking up with the other forwards and carving out goalscoring opportunities. Strong, powerful, technically superb, and tactically intelligent, many European football experts feel he is destined for greatness.

It has been reported previously that Bologna are looking for a premium from suitors, with former side Bayern Munich set to receive 50% of any fee. It remains to be seen whether Barcelona will make any concrete moves for Zirkzee in the summer.

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