Bologna forward Joshua Zirkzee has opened up on reports linking him to Milan, with the Rossoneri keeping close tabs on his development at the Dall’Ara. He also revealed the idols he grew up wanting to be like, including two active players.

Zirkzee gave an exclusive interview to La Gazzetta dello Sport and shed light upon a variety of topics, including his preferred position on the pitch and rise under Thiago Motta.

“I don’t know, but I’m not interested in these rumours (about Milan). I know that when I walk around the centre of Bologna many people stop me and we talk. Yesterday, after a photo, a boy told me: ‘Goal in Florence! I’ll be there on Sunday’. I always try to play well because I don’t want to disappoint people.”

Zirkzee then opened up about his role models.

“As a child I watched Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo ‘O Fenomeno,’ Marco Van Basten, then I played with Robert Lewandowski and Marco Arnautovic, but I never asked the latter two for opinions or tricks. I watched them. I absorbed notions. And the I put in the rest, my own.”

He dished on the transfer market but emphasized his intention to take it step by step, with Bologna being his priority at the moment.

“The road is long, and you have to work hard every day. If you ask me what I prefer between making Bologna great or going to play for a big team soon, I’ll tell you that the right choice is the former, to make Bologna great. Then we’ll see.”

Zirkzee also took stock of the €40M clause for Bayern Munich in his Bologna contract.

“Yes, I know now. In Munich, I became an adult but let’s say that football on the road formed me, because it’s always a duel, you fight for yourself, if you fall on the asphalt, you hurt yourself a lot and then you train to stand up, because you feel free to play. A school of life, of football, where you have to improve yourself every day. I never came home, like many children. And Mama Doris would get so mad. How many scoldings I got.”

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