Manchester United are in to 11/8 from 2/1 to sign Atalanta forward Rasmus Hojlund with a move for Harry Kane looking more unlikely.
The Red Devils’ top priority over the summer has to be a striker, as it ought to have been for a number of years, since the departure of Romelu Lukaku in 2019.
Odion Ighalo was the first stop gap the following January with Edinson Cavani arriving on a free in the summer and the woefully misguided signing of Cristiano Ronaldo a year later.
Wout Weghorst was the latest stop gap, and while his effort couldn’t be faulted, the Dutchman is miles off the level of a team aiming to challenge for the Premier League.
Harry Kane looked to be the number one target for Erik ten Hag over the summer, but a combination of Tottenham’s high asking price, and Real Madrid’s sudden requirement for a centre forward having lost Karim Benzema means that move has looked less and less like going through.
United simply cannot afford to head into the new season with Anthony Martial as their only striker. When on-song, the Frenchman can be an enormous asset, but getting him fit enough to even play has been a big enough challenge, suffering with injuries to his hamstring, Achilles, hamstring, back, hip and then injuring his hamstring again on the eve of the FA Cup final.
Atalanta - 6/5
Man Utd - 11/8
Napoli - 6/1
Bayern Munich - 16/1
The problem for United is that top-class centre forwards are at an enormous premium and their desperation will only drive up any asking prices – and that appears to be the first issue regarding Hojlund.
The young Dane certainly has talent, commanding a €17m fee to Sturm Graz last year, but wasn’t thrown into the deep end straight away, starting just four of Atalanta’s first 16 Serie A games last season.
The 20-year-old stands at 6ft3, offering a real physical presence as well as pace, technical ability and good movement in the area.
A centre-forward who can be involved in the build-up is key to Ten Hag’s philosophy and Hojlund seems like he’ll be able to play that part.
The primary issue looks to be the asking price for a player who turned 20 earlier in the year with just 20 starts in a ‘top five’ league to his name, not to mention just nine goals.
Latest reports suggest an asking price of around £86m for the Dane, a fee that could potentially bring a Harry Kane to the club.
Market settled on the club that the player will be eligible to play for on 3rd September 2023. Loan deals count for this purpose, unless a player moves to a new club and is immediately loaned out, in which case we will settle on the club that has permanently signed the player.