Sign up to Miguel Delaney’s Reading the Game newsletter sent straight to your inbox for free
Sign up to Miguel’s Delaney’s free weekly newsletter
Manchester United have a reached a deal in principle to sign Atalanta striker Rasmus Hojlund, the PA news agency understands.
Having wrapped up the signings of Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount and Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana, a deal has been struck for the highly-rated 20-year-old.
United are understood to have agreed to pay £64million for Hojlund, with a further £8million in add-ons.
The Denmark international has agreed terms on a five-year deal with the option of a further season.
Hojlund is seen by the Old Trafford giants as a rough diamond who can be polished by Erik ten Hag, who made no secret of the need for attacking help after Wednesday’s 2-0 friendly loss to Real Madrid.
The Dutchman’s side failed to score from any of their 14 attempts under the NRG Stadium roof, an all too familiar tale given their problems taking opportunities last season.
Asked if the attacking display in Houston emphasised why they are looking to sign a new striker, Ten Hag said: “Absolutely.
I think we need more players who are capable to be in the one-on-ones
Erik ten Hag
“There were two things – the pressing can be better from the start and scoring goals.
“I think we need more players who are capable to be in the one-on-ones and we had the situations of one-on-ones.
“It was (Marcus) Rashford, it was, I thought, Scott McTominay in one-on-one situations. (Alejandro) Garnacho, a one-on-one situation. From the situations, you have to score.”
Hojlund was named among Atalanta’s substitutes for their friendly at Bournemouth on Saturday but did not play a minute in the 3-1 win.
Ten Hag was quizzed later that day about the impending arrival ahead of the final match of United’s US tour against Borussia Dortmund in Las Vegas.
“I think that the difference in reference to last year is now we have a foundation with this squad,” he said at their San Diego training base.
“We built the foundation last season of the squad and the way of play, now we have to find the right players to fit in and help raise the bar.
“We have seen that with Andre Onana and Mason Mount and now we are looking for a striker.”
Asked specifically about Hojlund, Ten Hag said: “I can’t talk about a player who is still under contract at another club.
“We have to raise the bar, the competition (is) very strong, we have many competitors for the first four positions in the Premier League. It will be a huge battle.
“It is not between two or three clubs, it is between seven, eight or nine. It will be an exciting league I am sure.”