Arsenal are lining up a summer bid for Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee, according to the Gazzetta Dello Sport (via GoonerTalk).
The Italian newspaper claims that the Gunners have “already set aside” €50m (£43m) to bring in the Dutchman at the end of the season.
Zirkzee’s performances have attracted the attention of scouts since joining Bologna from Bayern Munich last summer.
The forward has only scored 8 times in all competitions after making the switch to Italy but he is a player in demand.
Arsenal are not the only Premier League club pursuing Zirkzee
Manchester United are believed to have made formal enquiries about the Netherlands Under 21 international’s availability, while both Newcastle and West Ham have been credited with an interest in recent weeks.
Other Serie A teams, including AC Milan, have also been named as potential suitors, while a move back to Bayern can’t be ruled out either, as the Bundesliga champions have a €40m (£34m) buyback clause.
Bologna could demand a sizeable fee for the striker
While Gazzetta report that Arsenal are prepared to pay around €50m to secure Zirkzee’s signature, that amount may not satisfy Bologna. It is believed that the Italian club could demand as much as €80m (£68m).
That is a very steep price but their valuation has been influenced by a couple of factors. Manchester United signed Rasmus Hojlund for a similar figure last year and Zirkzee is seen as someone with a commensurate level of talent.
In addition, on top of their buyback option, Bayern also have a sell-on clause, which means that Bologna would have to hand over as much as 40% of the fee from Zirkzee’s sale to the German club.
It looks as if Arsenal would have to pay through the nose in order to secure a striker’s services who has yet to prove he is a prolific goalscorer.