Joshua Zirkzee potential transfer destinations - ranked

  • Joshua Zirkzee has been mightily impressive for Bologna since his switch
  • The Dutch forward has been attracting interest from Europe's elite sides
  • Bayern Munich have a buy-back clause in Zirkzee's current deal
Joshua Zirkzee has excelled at Bologna
Joshua Zirkzee has excelled at Bologna / Ivan Romano/GettyImages

Having shown so much potential at such a young age, Joshua Zirkzee hasn't had the most straightforward path to the top.

The 22-year-old came through the ranks at Bayern Munich after an early move from Feyenoord's youth setup, but was forced into several loan moves in order to gain first-team experience. Despite producing 31 goal contributions during his temporary stint with Anderlecht, Zirkzee was sold to Bologna in 2022 for just €8.5m.

After a slow first campaign with the Italian side, the forward has been in fantastic form this season and is closing in on 20 goal contributions for Thiago Motta's surprise Serie A stars. As a result, he has attracted interest from Europe's elite clubs, including those in the Premier League.

But which side should make the move for Zirkzee? Here are the Dutchman's possible destinations ranked by fit.

6. Chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino
Chelsea are never shy in splashing the cash / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Chelsea's disastrous campaign has been blamed on many things: Mauricio Pochettino, a youthful squad full of inexperience and, of course, the lack of a clinical number nine. Zirkzee could potentially fix that.

The Blues would not be shy in splashing out on the youngster and he would certainly fit the age profile of the club's recruitment model. Chelsea do need a new number nine capable of competing with Nicolas Jackson, but taking such a punt on a player with no Premier League experience would probably be an unwise move for the London club.

Chelsea need a more experienced and polished centre-forward to complement Jackson, and uncertainty over Pochettino's future means that it would likely be a poor move for both parties.

Fit: 2/10

5. Arsenal

Arsenal FC v Luton Town - Premier League
Eddie Nketiah could be sold this summer / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Similarly to Chelsea this season, Arsenal have sometimes been accused of lacking a ruthless striker, despite the fact that they are currently vying for the Premier League title and Champions League glory.

Gabriel Jesus has admitted that scoring goals isn't his forte, while Kai Havertz has been hit-and-miss and Eddie Nketiah often ignored. The latter may very well be sold this summer.

Zirkzee does draw similarities with Havertz in terms of his movement, link-up play and frame, so would potentially be a decent fit for the Gunners, but perhaps unnecessary given the £65m German is starting to find his form after a rough start in north London.

Fit: 4/10

4. Manchester United

Brentford FC v Manchester United - Premier League
Erik ten Hag may not be Man Utd boss next season / MB Media/GettyImages

Man Utd have had their own woes up top this season when it comes to strikers, the Red Devils having looked incredibly blunt without £72m Rasmus Hojlund this season. Marcus Rashford has been ineffective as his replacement, while Anthony Martial has been poor and mainly injured this term.

Reinforcements are needed in many departments this summer, including the centre-forward position, with the Red Devils having been touted with interest in Zirkzee.

However, there are question marks over whether Zirkzee would have the mobility or athleticism to play in Erik ten Hag's United side - if the Dutchman is the coach next year - especially given that they are so reliant on counter-attacking situations.

Fit: 4/10

3. Juventus

Filip Kostic, Dusan Vlahovic
Dusan Vlahovic could work well with Zirkzee / Nicolò Campo/GettyImages

Zirkzee boasts a similar profile in certain aspects to Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic, with the Old Lady having witnessed the 22-year-old's impressive Serie A performances first-hand - including during a 1-1 draw between Bologna and the Turin side early in the campaign.

It's clear that Zirkzee can thrive in Italian football and Juve would be foolish not to take a closer look at the young forward. However, with Vlahovic in their ranks, the Bologna forward's influence may not be felt too greatly at the Allianz Stadium should he make the move.

Juventus are ready to pursue Zirkzee this summer according to numerous reports, although whether the Dutch forward will be excited by the prospect of joining Max Allegri's side remains to be seen.

Fit: 6/10

2. Bayern Munich

Bayern have a buy-back clause in Zirkzee's contract / RONNY HARTMANN/GettyImages

Bayern have an advantage over other potential suitors given they have a buy-back clause inserted in Zirkzee's deal from the sale in 2022. However, they may not choose to activate that clause, especially given they have a 50% sell-on clause as well.

With Harry Kane blossoming and Mathys Tel showing incredibly promising signs, Bayern don't need to sign the forward. But he would offer the German giants similar characteristics to Kane, making him a good fit for the club as they look to rediscover themselves after a tough campaign.

Fit: 7/10

1. Milan

Olivier Giroud
Zirkzee could be Olivier Giroud's successor / Marco Luzzani/GettyImages

According to recent reports, Milan is Zirkzee's preferred destination. Given he has drawn comparisons with Olivier Giroud, it's hardly surprising that they view the Dutchman as the 37-year-old's successor.

Zirkzee netted in a 2-2 draw with Milan at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara earlier this season and shares some key traits with the Italian side's veteran striker. Tall, physical and clever in his movement and build-up play, the Bologna man could find a good home at San Siro.

Giroud looks set to leave Milan for free this summer after an incredible spell with the Italian giants, with Zirkzee potentially filling his sizeable shoes in the coming transfer window.

Fit: 9/10