'Dream come true' - Joshua Zirkzee releases statement ahead of £36m Manchester United transfer

Joshua Zirkzee
-Credit: (Image: Grzegorz Wajda/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Joshua Zirkzee has released a statement as he closes in on a move to Manchester United.

After talks progressed well between the clubs and player, Zirkzee is now set to become the first signing of the Ineos' era this summer after being granted permission to fly into the UK on Thursday night. He is set to undergo medical on Friday.

MEN Sport understands that although Zirkzee had a £34million (€40m) release clause in his Bologna contract, United have instead agreed to pay £36m (€42.5m). These payments will be spread over three years. Had they opted to trigger the forward's release clause, United would have had to pay it full. Zirkzee is set to sign a five-year contract until 2029, with the option for a further season.

READ MORE: I was Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant and know Ruud van Nistelrooy but Man Utd return surprises me

READ MORE: Manchester United must avoid Leny Yoro transfer mistake as Ineos warning sent

The club had prioritised the arrival of a forward this summer following Anthony Martial's exit upon the expiration of his contract, which left Rasmus Hojlund as the only recognised striker.

Zirkzee has been with the Netherlands squad as they reached the semi-final of Euro 2024, but Wednesday night's defeat to England means his focus can now turn to his future, accelerating his widely-tipped move from Bologna.

In his latest update to his Instagram story, Zirkzee shared his disappointment following the defeat. He wrote: "A big let down last night. It was a dream come true to be part of this team (yet still). I am proud and grateful to wear this shirt. Orange fans, thank you for your support."

United have also been linked with a move for Matthijs de Ligt as Erik ten Hag eyes a reunion with his former Ajax player. Speaking about the summer plans, the Dutch boss said: "We are working in the background on the plans with scouting and our staff.

"We are working on our plan, which is ready, it just needs [us] to execute. I trust the new ownership that they will work as quick as possible and will bring new structures and they can execute."