Sky Sports News has been told an agreement between Atalanta and Manchester United for striker Rasmus Hojlund is edging closer.
The clubs are working on a compromise on a fee with Atalanta understood to value the player at €70m plus performance related add-ons.
The big development at Atalanta is they are close to completing a deal for forward El Bilal Toure from Almeria. The Mali international has been having a medical after the clubs agreed a £26.5m.
United remain hopeful a deal can be struck for Hojlund well in advance of the new season – but have other options if a move cannot be finalised.
United are aware of PSG’s interest in Hojlund – they bid €50m earlier this week – but are encouraged by his desire to join United.
Personal terms are no issue for the 20-year-old, who wants the switch to Old Trafford, although a gap in valuation still exists, with Atalanta seeking £59.8m (€70m) plus £8.5m (€10m) in add-ons.
Paris Saint-Germain have made a £43m (€50m) bid but United will not be swayed in their approach by interest in the player from other clubs. The club have shown in the deals for Mason Mount and Andre Onana they will not break their maximum budget for a player this summer.
Due to Financial Fair Play constraints and a determination to stick to their price points, United have so far been reluctant to go beyond a £51m (€60m) package.
They do, though, have a good relationship with the Serie A side after negotiations for Amad Diallo, and have been in constant contact with their counterparts over a compromise on the fee for Hojlund.
Both clubs are moving in the direction of reaching an agreement. United are conscious that Hojlund is more potential than the finished article, but believe Erik ten Hag’s coaching could help mould him into an elite player.
There is an understanding that if the Denmark international is signed, Marcus Rashford may need to play some games as United’s focal point while Hojlund adjusts and gains experience. Long-term he is seen as a talent that has the potential to become world class under Ten Hag.
United wouldn’t need to sell to buy Hojlund and are banking on decent sales this summer and in the January window to keep them within the requisite financial parameters.
While there is confidence in getting a deal done, the club have been in parallel discussions for Randal Kolo Muani from Eintracht Frankfurt as an alternative option.
United have also put in a lot of work on Ajax’s versatile Mohammed Kudus plus at least one other target as they do not want a drawn-out saga or to be left light in attack at the start of the season.
PSG, meanwhile, are keen to sign a striker and believe they are “in the mix” to sign Harry Kane this summer if Tottenham decide to sell the England captain.
Ten Hag: Real Madrid defeat shows why Man Utd need a striker
Erik ten Hag says Manchester United’s inability to take their chances in a 2-0 friendly loss to Real Madrid “absolutely” emphasised their need for a new striker.
United had chances of their own but failed to score with any of their 14 attempts – an all too familiar tale given their problems taking opportunities last season.
Asked if the attacking display in Texas emphasised why they are looking to sign a new striker, Ten Hag said: “Absolutely.
“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. Garnacho, a one-on-one situation. From the situations, you have to score.”
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