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Who is Manchester United target Rasmus Hojlund?

Who is Manchester United target Rasmus Hojlund?
© Reuters
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at Atalanta BC forward Rasmus Hojlund, who is currently being linked with a move to Manchester United.

Manchester United are reportedly keen to sign Atalanta BC forward Rasmus Hojlund during this summer's transfer window.

The Red Devils will be in the market for at least one new striker ahead of the 2023-24 campaign, but it would not be a surprise to see two arrive, as Wout Weghorst's loan spell from Burnley has now ended, while Anthony Martial's future is being called into question.

There have been suggestions that Hojlund could arrive alongside a more experienced forward, with Man United head coach Erik ten Hag viewing the 20-year-old as a player capable of starring in the coming years.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the Dane, who has just completed his first season at Atalanta following his arrival from Sturm Graz in August 2022.

Atalanta BC forward Rasmus Hojlund celebrates in February 2023© Reuters

Hojlund spent time with Brondby and Holbaek during his youth career before moving to Copenhagen, where he featured for three years in the youth system ahead of making his first-team debut in 2020.

The forward made 32 appearances for Copenhagen in total, scoring five times, before he moved to Sturm Graz in January 2022, with the Austrian side allegedly paying €1.8m (£1.5m) for his services.

Hojlund enjoyed an impressive spell with the Graz-based outfit, netting 12 goals and registering four assists in 21 appearances in all competitions, and his form led to Atalanta signing him for a reported €17m (£14.6m).

Not too much was expected of the youngster during his first season in Italian football, but he ended the campaign with 10 goals and four assists in 34 appearances in all competitions.

Hojluind managed nine goals and four assists in 32 Serie A outings, ending the campaign with two goals and one assist in his last three appearances.

Denmark's Rasmus Hojlund celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 23, 2023© Reuters

The forward has also burst onto the international scene, scoring five goals in his opening four caps for Denmark, including a hat-trick against Finland in March and a brace three days later against Kazakhstan.

A recent report claimed that Man United boss Ten Hag had held a number of video calls with Hojlund to discuss a move to Old Trafford this summer.

The attacker has another four years left to run on his contract, but the Red Devils are believed to be confident of signing him during this summer's transfer window.

Earlier this year, Hojlund revealed that he was "a huge Manchester United fan" when the speculation surrounding a potential move to Old Trafford started to gather pace.

 Denmark's Rasmus Hojlund celebrates scoring their second goal on March 23, 2023© Reuters

"Now that you ask, I will not hide the fact that I am a huge Manchester United fan," he told reporters at the time.

"So personally, it would be one of the biggest things for me, but of course that doesn't mean that I would turn down other big clubs if the offers come at some point."

According to The Athletic, despite suggestions that Man United would wait another year to move for Hojlund, the player is determined to force a switch to Old Trafford this summer.

In terms of valuation, £40m and £50m have been mentioned in recent weeks, making him a more affordable option to the likes of Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane and Napoli's Victor Osimhen, but Ten Hag is thought to want Hojlund and one other forward this summer rather than just the Dane.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag before the match on May 4, 2023© Reuters

Despite finishing the season in impressive fashion, Hojlund did find it difficult to show his best form in the second half of the campaign, and Atalanta head coach Gian Piero Gasperini claimed that the transfer speculation was impacting his performances.

"The qualities are all there, at the beginning we had to get to know him but he immediately stood out for his great will to break through," he recently told Tuttosport.

"He did very well after the first stop [part of the season], then he was called up to the national team and too many rumours distracted him, then there was the [abductor] injury.

"Today's goal (against Verona) demonstrates his power, if he knows how to improve he can take away great satisfaction. You have to know how to accept his moments, he will mature in all aspects."

There have been comparisons to a certain Erling Braut Haaland due to his pace, power and finishing abilities, and it will be fascinating to see how Hojlund performs in English football if he does make the move to Old Trafford during the summer market.

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