The two players Man Utd tried to offer Atalanta in Hojlund transfer

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia
  • 23 Sept 2023 14:05 BST
  • 3 min read
Man Utd's Rasmus Hojlund playing for Denmark
© ProShots

Manchester United offered Atalanta two players in an attempt to make a swap deal for Rasmus Hojlund before agreeing to pay €85 million for the striker this summer.

Hojlund joined United in August as Erik ten Hag’s marquee signing up front, having been desperate to sign a true number nine since being appointed as manager last summer.

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Although United were keen on Harry Kane, Tottenham’s reluctance to entertain talks with a Premier League rival prompted the Red Devils to move for Hojlund, beating Paris Saint-Germain in the process.

WANTED: United were desperate to sign Premier League star

According to The Athletic, Hojlund only wanted to move to Man Utd despite PSG offering a higher salary and the Premier League side tried their luck with a part-exchange offer to Atalanta – a suggestion that was quickly dismissed.

United had offered fringe midfielders Fred and Donny van de Beek in order to offset the cost of a player that Atalanta initially valued at €100m but the Italian side were only interested in a cash deal.

Fred eventually moved to Fenerbahce for €15m while Van de Beek failed to agree an exit from Old Trafford despite a host of loan offers, with the Dutchman still not a part of Ten Hag’s first team plans.

Hojlund looking to inject goals into struggling United team

Hojlund made his long-awaited debut for United against Arsenal earlier this month after being sidelined with injury and even saw a goal ruled out after coming off the bench, before eventually scoring for the first time against Bayern Munich this week.

The 20-year-old is hoping to finally offer Ten Hag some physical presence up front as well as some goals, having seen Wout Weghorst net just twice in 31 appearances while on loan last season.

United had kept an eye on Randal Kolo Muani as an alternative to Hojlund if they could not come to an agreement with Atalanta but the Dane’s desire to play for the team he grew up supporting convinced Ten Hag to push for the youngster.

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The return to fitness for Hojlund could help ease the pressure on Ten Hag, who has come under increased scrutiny after United’s difficult start to the campaign.

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