Arsenal 'remain interested' in Joshua Zirkzee after Benjamin Sesko transfer blow

Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee
-Credit: (Image: Elianton/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Arsenal remain interested in signing Bologna forward Joshua Zirkzee as Mikel Arteta tries to strengthen his attacking department this summer.

Arteta is keen to add a new striker to his ranks after Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah both endured a difficult season. Jesus found the net eight times in 36 appearances, while Nketiah struck just six goals in 37 matches. Their struggles in front of goal saw Kai Havertz used as the No.9 for the final couple of months, with the German finding some form and ending the campaign with nine goals and five assists in his final 14 games.

However, Arteta is set to dip into the market for a new forward and Zirkzee is still a firm target. According to Sky Sports, the Gunners 'remain interested' in a move for the 23-year-old, with AC Milan, Juventus and Manchester United among his other potential suitors.

Zirkzee scored 12 goals in 37 matches during the 2023/24 season and was voted as the best young player in Serie A for his performances. Zirkzee, who joined Bologna from Bayern Munich on a permanent deal in August 2022, has a £34million (€40m) release clause in his contract, which has two years left to run.

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It's understood the Gunners want to bring in a young striker they can develop, having turned away from the likes of Alexander Isak and Ivan Toney. They have been keen on signing Benjamin Sesko, but the Slovenian is expected to commit his future to RB Leipzig and sign a new contract this week.

Speaking about his future last month, Zirkzee told Sky Sports: "After the holidays we'll see what will happen. As far as I know so far I will play the Champions League with Bologna but I can't say anything.

"There's a lot going on, in the meantime we're thinking about finishing the season well and then we'll come back after the holidays and see what happens."

Arsenal (91) were the second-highest scorers in the Premier League last season behind Manchester City (96) and missed out on the title to Pep Guardiola's men. The Gunners finished second, two points behind despite posting their second-highest tally (89) in the top-flight since the division was rebranded in 1992.