·23 September 2023
·23 September 2023
Rasmus Hojlund celebrates scoring a goal in the Champions League.
Manchester United only agreed to pay Rasmus Hojlund’s asking price after Atalanta rejected their offer of a swap deal, according to reports.
The Red Devils swooped in the summer transfer window to spend €85m on the Denmark international with Erik ten Hag desperate for a new striker.
There had been speculation that Man Utd were interested in signing Harry Kane from Tottenham early on in the transfer window before it quickly became apparent that deal wasn’t going to happen.
And the Red Devils swiftly moved onto Hojlund with Ten Hag looking to finally replace Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals after the Portugal international left the club last November following a controversial interview with Piers Morgan.
Wout Weghorst temporarily joined on loan until the end of last season but it was clear that the Dutchman was just a placeholder for a new striker over the summer.
And The Athletic have revealed that Man Utd offered Fred and Donny van de Beek as possible makeweights in any deal for Hojlund before agreeing to a money-only transfer.
The Athletic wrote:
‘Lee Congerton, Atalanta’s head of senior recruitment, had brought Hojlund to the club from Sturm Graz and believed he was worth €100million. ‘United kept other options open in case Atalanta refused to budge, notably Eintracht Frankfurt’s France international Randal Kolo Muani, but by the time United took off for their pre-season tour of the United States in mid-July it was clear all attention was on Hojlund. ‘United had by then proposed several of their own players in part-exchange as a way of offsetting the cost, including midfielders Donny van de Beek and Fred, but Atalanta wanted solely cash.’
Man Utd eventually agreed to pay Atalanta €75million plus €10m in add-ons for Hojlund but the report reveals some thought the fee was “excessive”.
The Athletic added:
‘It is a fee that, while lower than Atalanta’s original demands, many in the industry regard as excessive based on Hojlund’s track record.’
And Man Utd came under a bit of pressure from other clubs, chiefly Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham, as they looked to negotiate a better price.
The Athletic continued:
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‘United were given information that PSG made a second offer worth €60m to Atalanta and were prepared to go to €80m. ‘The French champions, however, deny such figures, with Al-Khelaifi valuing Hojlund at close to their original bid. United also believed Tottenham were genuine contenders for Hojlund at a price of £70m, but ultimately the London club did not formalise their interest.’