Meet incoming Man Utd transfer signing Joshua Zirkzee, who was rejected by Bayern Munich and dates a JD Sports model

Meet incoming Man Utd transfer signing Joshua Zirkzee, who was rejected by Bayern Munich and dates a JD Sports model

JOSHUA ZIRKZEE will add much-needed firepower to Manchester United’s attack next season.

The Dutch forward, 23, seems destined to play his football at Old Trafford next season, after the Red Devils agreed to pay his £34million release clause to his club Bologna.

Joshua Zirkzee has taken Serie A by stormAFP

GettyDutch forward Zirkzee featured for Netherlands in the Euros[/caption]

Zirkzee cut short a holiday in Florida and visit to Disney World to link with the Netherlands squadinstagram @zirkzee

Personal terms have also been reportedly agreed, with Zirkzee set to put pen to paper on a deal imminently.

The 6ft 4in striker is on international duty with the Netherlands at Euro 2024, although he has only played three minutes in the tournament.

After bouncing around around Dutch clubs Ado Den Haag and Feyenoord as a youth, he was snapped up by Bayern Munich when he was 16.

However, he failed to establish himself with the Bavarians and was sent on loans to Parma and Anderlecht, before moving permanently to Bologna.

In Serie A, he earned his stripes – receiving a glowing endorsement from Sweden legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

While he also showed his commitment to his country, cutting short a dream holiday to Disneyland to join Ronald Koeman’s squad, following a late call-up.

Off the pitch, Zirkzee featured in a JD Sports ad alongside his beautiful girlfriend, Celina Kerr.

He has also appeared as a model for urban leisure wear brand, No Face No Case.

Early years

Zirkzee has admitted in the past he had no ‘Plan B’. He only wanted to be a footballer growing up.

He grew up in Spijkenisse, South Netherlands where he spent most of his time playing on the Johan Cruyff football courts.

“I think what the USA has with basketball courts, we have in Holland with the five-a-side pitches,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“It makes you tough, you have to be smarter, you have to find a way to keep up with guys that are bigger and stronger than you. I learned on the streets – and that’s where creativity comes to life.”

In 2016, after three years with Ado Den Haag, Zirkzee signed with Feyenoord.

His heavyweight boxer stature, even evident then, saw him stand out among his peers.

In under a year with the Dutch giants, Bayern Munich made Zirkzee an offer that he couldn’t refuse.

It was a bitter split from Feyenoord, as the Germans swooped in – convincing the then 16-year-old his development would be best served with them.

But in truth…

It really wasn’t.

Zirkzee did make his breakthrough into the first team in 2019, and appeared destined to be their next No9.

He scored twice in his first eight minutes of Bundesliga action, across games against Freiburg and Wolfsburg at the tender age of 18.

As youngster, Zirkzee rose through the ranks at Bayern MunichGetty

But Zirkzee failed to get a run in the first team and sent out on loan for game timeGetty

However, despite playing a small part in Bayern’s treble-winning campaign, he struggled to assert himself as a starter.

In 2021, understanding his need to play more football, Zirkzee was sent on loan to Parma.

He would play just four games until a knee injury meant he had to return back to Munich.

Four months later, he would join Belgians Anderlecht for a season long loan.

Not only would it put him in the shop window, it would allow him to build his confidence up playing regularly.

Success

The move proved to be a masterstroke for both player and club.

Zirkzee would find his feet playing under Vincent Kompany, who once blasted him for a poor performance during a team talk in a leaked video that surfaced online.

Still, it got the best out of the target man.

He was the club’s top scorer with a 16 goals in 38 league games.

Vincent Kompany lays into Zirkzee in a video that circulated online of a dressing room teamtalk

Zirkzee returned to Bayern Munich after his Anderlecht loan, but was surplus to requirementsGetty

Zirkzee also showed he wasn’t a selfish player, recording nine assists for his team-mates during the campaign.

After his successful loan, there was talk he might get his chance at the Allianz Arena.

However, an £8million offer from Bologna, which included a 50 per cent sell on clause was too good to turn down.

Big break

Zirkzee was brought to the Italian club to partner former West Ham man Marko Arnautovic up front.

A month after he was unveiled, Thiago Motta became boss. The Italian had different ideas.

Arnautovic got the nod, with Zirkzee confessing: “I wasn’t ready mentally, not like Motta wanted anyway.”

The understudy sat on the bench and watched the Austrian forward in action – learning about leading the line and the movement Motta wanted from his lone striker.

At the beginning of the 2023-24 season, Zirkzee would get his opportunity after Arnautovic was sold to Inter Milan.

“The time came to take a step forward,” he explained to the Corriere, “to take on more responsibility, to demonstrate that I was ready and take advantage of the opportunity.”

Zirkzee signed for Bologna where he would go on to get his big break

Initially, Zirkzee played second fiddle to Marko Arnautovic – getting the odd appearanceGetty

And he did just that

Spearheading Bologna’s attack, Zirkzee would take his chance.

A stunning season in the club’s history saw them earn Champions League qualification for the very first time.

The Dutchman’s contribution was integral to their success – scoring 11 goals and providing five assists.

Former Torino coach Ivan Juric compared him to Zlatan Ibrahimovic after one encounter between the clubs.

“He’s an atypical striker that manages to score a lot of goals,” the Croatian added.

Ibrahimovic, a senior advisor with AC Milan, said of Zirkzee: “I like him, he’s a good player with very good potential.”

It would prompt I Rossoneri to plot a move for the talent, although it appears he has always had his eyes set on joining Manchester United.

AlamySoon, Zirkzee became a fans’ favourite under boss Thiago Motta[/caption]

6ft 4in forward Zirkzee was also praised by Zlatan Ibahimovic who recognised his talentRex


Model life

Away from the pitch, Zirkzee reportedly dates the stunning model Celina.

The influencer and model boasts almost 100,000 followers on Instagram.

She reportedly graduated in Berlin with a degree in Media and Communication Management.

They have kept their personal lives private on social media, but they were once seen embracing each other on a Valentine’s Day video shoot with JD Sports.

The couple wore unisex tracksuits sold by the sports wear giant in the digital ad campaign, which was shared by Celina on her Instagram feed to her followers.

Celina Kerr reportedly dates Man Utd bound ZirkzeeInstagram @ celinajadakerr

Stunning Celina is a mode who has over 100,000 followers on InstagramInstagram @ celinajadakerr

Zirkzee and Celina shot a JD Sports promo campaign on Valentine’s Day

Zirkzee has also modelled for streetwear brand No Face No Case

Handsome Zirkzee has also modelled streetwear by online brand, No Face No Case.

United fans will be hoping the towering frontman is a model pro, too.

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