Arsenal to ‘tie up’ first summer transfer with five-year deal to answer Mikel Arteta plea

Arsenal are said to be admirers of a Serie A striker and have reportedly decided to make an approach amid growing interest from a number of European rivals.

Joshua Zirkzee is reportedly a target for Arsenal

Arsenal have reportedly tabled a five-year contract offer to Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee in a bid to beat Juventus and Milan to his signature.

It is anticipated that Mikel Arteta will search for a striker this summer with Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah – the latter of whom is tipped to exit – scoring just 14 goals between them all season, nine of which have come in the Premier League.

Zirkzee, who has 12 goals this term, has been a key part of Bologna’s push for a top four spot in Serie A and at 22 still has potential to grow. He’s even been compared with Brazilian great Ronaldinho by his manager Thiago Motta thanks to his impressive footwork.

He is thought to have drummed up interest within Italy, with some of the league’s biggest clubs keeping tabs on the attacker, whose contract still has two years to go

Tuttosport claims that Milan and Juventus are leading the domestic race for the Dutchman, who has also netted seven times in 19 Netherlands under-21 caps. As such, it moots that Arsenal have made an early approach to Zirkzee and his representatives in an attempt to secure an early deal.

The report says the Gunners have offered a contract that stretches until 2029 with a weekly wage of around £99,000, excluding bonuses. Transfer rivals are expected to make a push for Zirkzee’s signature in the coming weeks and so Arsenal may also act accordingly.

Italian outlet Gazzetta also reports that recently-crowned Serie A champions Inter are considering a move to Zirkzee, which would pose a greater threat to Arsenal than Juventus or Milan. A decision will be made in the coming days whether Internazionale indeed trigger an official approach, it claims

Zirkzee was briefly linked with a move to Manchester United last summer and in November was asked about his future, insisting he was happy at Bologna. “The road is long and you have to work hard every day,” he said.

“If you ask me what I prefer between making Bologna great or going to play for a big club soon, I tell you that the right choice is making Bologna great. Then we’ll see you.”

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