Manchester United back down on Rasmus Hojlund fee after agreeing £72m deal for Atalanta striker

Rasmus Hojlund – Manchester United back down on Rasmus Hojlund fee after agreeing £72m deal for Atalanta striker

Rasmus Hojlund scored nine goals in Serie A last season – Getty Images/Nicola Campo

Manchester United have agreed an eye-watering £72 million deal with Atalanta for Denmark striker Rasmus Hojlund.

United will pay an initial £64 million upfront with a further £8 million payable in add-ons depending on the player’s success at Old Trafford.

Atalanta had been demanding €90 million (£77 million) but, despite an initial reluctance to go above £60 million, United have ended up backing down by committing a huge fee on a striker with fewer than 90 senior appearances to his name.

Hojlund scored nine goals in Serie A last season and the deal represents extraordinary business for Atalanta, only a year after they paid Sturm Graz €17 million for the striker.

Paris Saint Germain had made a €50 million (£43 million) offer for Hojlund in recent days and felt that was an accurate reflection of the 20-year-old’s value.

Hojlund has agreed a five year contract that will commit him to Old Trafford until June 2028, with the option of another year.

The Dane was left out of Atalanta’s friendly against Bournemouth on Saturday as United put the finishing touches to the deal.

Hojlund will become United’s third signing of the summer after midfielder Mason Mount and goalkeeper Andre Onana and takes their summer spending to £179m.

It means manager Erik ten Hag has now spent over £400 million since taking over as manager in May last year.

They have recouped around £20 million through sales so far and more outgoings are expected.

United’s move for Hojlund comes after they decided against a move for the £100 million rated Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

Kane would have represented as close to a guarantee of goals as was realistically available to United this summer but they resolved that they did not want to get drawn into a stand off with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy. It has paved the way for Bayern Munich to have a clear run at the prolific England captain.

Yet the stance on Kane becomes harder to fathom given the gamble United have now taken on Hojlund at huge expense.

In January last year, Hojlund joined Sturm Graz in Austria for just €1.8 million from Copenhagen and last summer transferred to Atalanta for €17 million.

United appear to be paying a heavy price for paying so heavily over the odds for Brazil winger Antony last summer.

Having initially valued Antony at £55 million, United ended up paying Ajax £85 million and other clubs have used that as a benchmark in discussions with the Manchester club over players.

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