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Erik ten Hag has made direct contact with Joshua Zirkzee

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has spoken directly with Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee about a potential transfer, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

Zirkzee has been identified as one of the ‘most important targets’ to strengthen the squad and Ten Hag has now contacted the 23-year-old ace.

United appear willing to pay his £34 million release clause and £13m agent commission, but the Dutch striker has yet to decide his future.

AC Milan also consider him a top target, but they face an obstacle with the commission.

United front-runners to sign Zirkzee from Bologna

The former Bayern Munich man had a good second season at Bologna, making 19 goal contributions in 37 appearances in all competitions.

He was a regular from the number nine role and caught the eye with his hold-up play, chance creation and ability to glide past opponents with his quick dribbling.

His shot-to-goal conversion rate was not the best at 13 percent, but he was fantastic with his clever distribution, creating 11 big chances – the fourth most in Serie A.

Zirkzee is a modern striker with good distribution skills. The Dutchman would provide quality competition to Rasmus Hojlund for the centre-forward position.

He currently has an ultimatum from Bologna. They require a definitive answer on his future this week.

The Serie A outfit have lined up a potential replacement. He needs to decide whether to stay or move on. United are the favourites to secure his services.

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