Man Utd ‘offered’ two players to Atalanta for Rasmus Hojlund before eventually paying up

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Man Utd ‘offered’ two players to Atalanta for Rasmus Hojlund before eventually paying up

Manchester United reportedly offered two players to Atalanta in order to soften the financial blow of signing Rasmus Hojlund before they eventually forked out for the young striker

Manchester United reportedly tried to include two players in the deal to sign Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta in order to soften the financial blow of signing a new number nine.

After a summer-long pursuit of Hojlund, 20, United got their priority of a new number nine at the beginning of August. Erik ten Hag was desperate to bring in a new talisman to rival Anthony Martial after losing Wout Weghorst at the end of his season-long loan from Burnley.

Hojlund arrived for a £72million fee in the hope he could lead the line at Old Trafford for the next decade and beyond. But it’s said that United attempted to save their cash and flog two deadwood players to Atalanta during negotiations with the Serie A side.

According to The Athletic, United initially struggled to agree a deal with the Bergamo club which led to them desperately offering to include two players in the transfer. It’s said that Lee Congerton, Atalanta’s head of senior recruitment, valued Hojlund at €100m (£87m), putting the deal at risk.

Atalanta’s asking price meant United kept their options open and eyed France international Randal Kolo Muani as an alternative – who would later move to PSG from Eintracht Frankfurt for £83m. In an attempt from United to offset the cost of the deal and chop deadwood from the club, midfielders Donny van de Beek and Fred were both offered in exchange.

But the attempt from United was flatly refused by Atalanta who solely wanted cash for their marksman, settling for £64m up front with £8m in add-ons for Hojlund. Ten Hag, who was reportedly a key figure in the deal after holding several video calls with Hojlund, got his man after believing him to have the strong character and personality to handle the pressure of leading the line at Old Trafford.

Still early in his United career, Hojlund looks to be a hit already after impressing against Arsenal and Brighton in the Premier League before netting his first goal for the club against Bayern Munich in the Champions League defeat in midweek. Seeing the Dane more befitting to the number nine role than Martial.

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The forgotten midfielders offered in the deal saw their summer window end differently as Fred sealed a £8.6m move to Fenerbahce, while Van de Beek still remains at United after failing to secure a move elsewhere.