Arsenal eye £50m-rated Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee

Joshua Zirkzee playing for Bologna against Genoa in Serie A
Joshua Zirkzee's physical frame and quick feet have caught the eye in Serie A - Getty Images/Alessandro Sabattini

Arsenal are admirers of Bologna’s Joshua Zirkzee and are keeping a close eye on the striker as they consider potential targets who could strengthen Mikel Arteta’s attack.

Arsenal’s need for another forward has been made more pressing in recent weeks due to repeated goalscoring issues and another knee injury suffered by star striker Gabriel Jesus, while there is also uncertainty over Eddie Nketiah’s long-term future at the club.

Zirkzee has scored eight goals and registered four assists in 22 appearances for Bologna this season and, at 6ft 4in, would offer a different type of option in attack for Arteta’s side.

Any move for a new forward is thought to be highly complicated this month, however, and Telegraph Sport understands Bologna would want a fee in the region of £50 million.

Arsenal are open to doing business in January but need to be careful with their finances after a summer outlay of more than £200 million. The feeling within the club is that their squad is currently well-balanced, when everyone is fit, and that any new arrivals would have to be able to greatly strengthen the team.

Arteta last week warned that it would be “unrealistic” to expect a new striker to arrive in January. A move for Zirkzee, should Arsenal decide to step up their initial interest, could therefore be more likely at the end of the season.

Bologna have made it clear that they have no intention of selling Zirkzee this winter, with sporting director Marco Di Vaio saying last month that the Dutchman is a “unique” player.

Di Vaio also said Zirkzee has a release clause but that it is only valid for Bayern Munich, who signed the striker from Feyenoord when he was a teenager.

Zirkzee went on to score four goals in 17 games for Bayern before a successful loan spell with Anderlecht in the 2021/22 season. He then struck 18 goals in 47 games, prompting Bologna to pay a reported fee of around £7 million for his services.

The 22-year-old has been a regular at youth level for the Netherlands, scoring seven goals in 19 appearances for the under-21 side.

Zirkzee is not the only young Dutch player to have caught Arsenal’s eye. As reported by Telegraph Sport this month, Arsenal are plotting a move for Ajax defender Jorrel Hato.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.