Inter Milan chief breaks silence on Joshua Zirkzee transfer as Arsenal sent warning

Joshua Zirkzee
Joshua Kirkzee is wanted by Arsenal -Credit:Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Inter Milan vice-president Javier Zanetti has suggested the club will try and sign Arsenal target Joshua Zirkzee this summer.

Zirkzee, a 22-year-old forward who has had an impressive season with Bologna, scoring 11 goals and providing five assists in 32 Serie A appearances, is on Arsenal's radar for the upcoming summer transfer window. Mikel Arteta is keen to bring another top-class centre forward to his squad.

Reports from Italy last week suggested that the Gunners were in discussions with Zirkzee's agent, Kia Joorabchian, about a potential move. It's believed that Arsenal are prepared to offer a five-year contract and an annual salary of £5million, on top of the £51.6m they would pay to Bologna for Zirkzee's services.

However, the Gunners are set to face hefty competition to sign Zirkzee this summer. Inter, already crowned Serie A champions, have their sights set on the talented Dutch striker.

Javier Zanetti, Inter's vice-president and former right-back, has dropped hints that the Italian club are planning a move for Zirkzee. Speaking to Radio TV Serie A about a possible transfer, the Argentine described Zirkzee as "a great champion".

Zanetti said: "We are talking about a young, talented, intelligent, physically very strong player. Someone like that would be useful to any great team aiming for important goals. Let's see... If the opportunity arises we can think about it. With Zirkzee, Lautaro [Martinez] and [Marcus] Thuram we would have a young and strong attack. They would give us peace of mind."

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Bologna's manager Thiago Motta has been instrumental in transforming Zirkzee into one of Europe's most coveted strikers, despite only netting twice in his debut season. Dario Canovi, Motta's agent, lauded the ex-midfielder for his role in enhancing Zirkzee's game.

Speaking to MilanNews, he said: "He has undoubtedly improved him, but I wouldn't even need to say it because the numbers before this year speak for themselves but above all the fact that the player himself recognised it.

"After [Marko] Arnautovic left, Thiago invested him with a great responsibility and made him grow faster. And when you play all the time, you gain experience."

With rumours swirling about a potential move to either AC Milan or Inter Milan, Canovi added: "He is certainly ready for a great team. And he still has room for improvement. Price? The price is set by the market, so if there are clubs willing to pay a lot, then it's worth it.

"Otherwise his value will be that of the highest bidder. As long as Bologna is willing to sell him."