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Report: Manchester United now preparing bid to sign £34m striker who’s just like Antoine Griezmann

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Manchester United’s hunt for a striker this summer is heating up and it’s now led them to a potential Antoine Griezmann regen.

For Erik ten Hag, this summer is huge as he’s no doubt on thin ice and required to show progress next season and quickly. In order for this to happen though, recruitment will be key.

With this in mind, it’s a little concerning that Manchester United are yet to actually make much progress on a signing with so much work to do.

But with the window not even open a week, signs are there that the correct players are being targeted this summer. Now one looks likely to be the subject of a bid.

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Joshua Zirkzee of the Netherlands battles for possession with Lutsharel Geertruida of The Netherlands during a training session prior to the Group ...

Photo by Peter Lous/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Manchester United now preparing a bid for Joshua Zirkzee

As June heads into its second half, Manchester United remain signing-less, although it hasn’t been through a like of trying.

Ineos has already seen bids rejected, first for Joao Neves and more recently for Jarrad Branthwaite. But now it’s been reported that a striker is next on the list to try and tick off.

It has been reported by the Daily Mail, that interest in Joshua Zirkzee is strong as talks are continuing and United are even preparing to make a bid for the Bologna striker who has a £33.7 million release clause.

United will face competition from Arsenal and AC Milan with the Red Devils in a strong position thanks to positive negotiations. That being said a bid isn’t considered imminent, but is expected at some point.

It may be that United must wait for sales to occur such as Mason Greenwood, in order to warrant an attacking addition when the defence is the priority.

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The need for a striker this summer is no slight on the work Hojlund did last season, as he actually ended up with a really strong return with 16 goals.

He’ll be expected to kick on next season, but with Anthony Martial departing for free, the main need is for a striker to share the load with Hojlund and offer something a little bit different.

In Zirkzee, United would have just that as despite him being a tally footballer at 6ft 4in, he’s a lot more technical than Hojlund and can actually be compared with Antoine Griezmann – a player United were close to signing in 2017 until he committed to Atletico when their transfer ban was upheld.

On FBRef, Griezmann is ranked as the fourth most similar player to Zirkzee, with Matheus Cunha – another United target this summer second – and it’s clear to see why.

Stat Griezmann Zirkzee
Games 48 37
Goals 24 12
Assists 8 7
Shot creating actions per 90 4.06 3.16
Take-ons per 90 0.70 1.70
Progressive carries per 90 1.77 1.73
Progressive passes per 90 4.81 2.81
Griezmann stats as per FBRef and Zirkzee stats as per FBRef

The pair boast similar qualities and habits on the pitch, and we’re inclined to think Zirkzee is the perfect alternative to Hojlund and he’s likely a player Ten Hag will love to use.

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