Manchester United have completed the £72m signing of Atalanta striker Rasmus Hojlund.
The 20-year-old has signed a five-year contract at Old Trafford, with the option of a further 12 months.
Hojlund – who was unveiled to United supporters ahead of their friendly against Lens at Old Trafford on Saturday – told the club’s website: “It’s no secret that I’ve been a fan of this great club since I am a little boy and dreamed of going out to Old Trafford as a Manchester United player.
“I am incredibly excited about this opportunity to turn this dream into reality and I am determined to return the trust the club has shown in me.
“It’s still early in my career but I know I’m ready to take that step and play with this group of world-class players.
“Once I spoke to the manager, I knew this environment would be perfect for my development.
“I relish the opportunity to work with one of the best coaches in the world. Under his guidance and support, I know I am capable of achieving great things, together with my new team-mates at this special club.”
United will pay Atalanta an initial fee of £64m for Hojlund, with an additional £8m added.
Paris Saint-Germain also wanted to sign the Denmark international this summer, but his desire to move to Old Trafford has left United confident of sealing the deal.
John Murtough, United’s director of football, added: “Rasmus is a truly exceptional talent. He has technical and physical qualities that rank him among the best players in the world for his age group.
“Working under Erik ten Hag and his coaches will provide Rasmus with the perfect development platform. Everyone at the club will ensure that he receives the time and support he needs to reach his immense potential.
“Throughout the summer, we acted quickly and decisively to secure our main targets at the start of the transfer window.
“This will ensure that Erik and his coaches have the best opportunity to prepare the team to push for further success in the exciting campaign ahead.”
United’s inbound business is now largely done, with Andre Onana and Mason Mount also signed, and more likely arrivals will depend on departures.
There is interest in Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay, Fred and Donny van de Beek.
If there are any departures, United would be ready to enter the market to replace them and they hold strong interest in Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat.
‘Man Utd solved three main team problems’
Sky Sports News senior reporter Melissa Reddy:
“United are aware that Hojlund has more potential than the finished article, but believe coaching Erik ten Hag could help him become an elite player.
“Marcus Rashford may have to play some games as United’s focal point as the 20-year-old adapts and gains experience. In the long run, he is seen as a talent with the potential to become world class under Ten Hag.
“United have now solved the three main team problems identified by the coach: a goalkeeper, a striker and a dynamic midfielder. This has been done within the budget the club has set itself, which was subject to financial fair play regulations.
“Hojlund had made it clear that Old Trafford was his destination of choice, so even though PSG had expressed interest with a take it or leave it offer, there was no worry or concern from United’s side because they knew the player wanted to join them.
“They knew they had done a lot of homework on this deal and they always stayed within budget.
“United talked Atalanta out of what they wanted initially. The last asking price was £77m guaranteed. We know United went for £64m guaranteed, so they think it’s a win.
“We have to stress that he is a 20-year-old who is still very inexperienced, so it is quite a high price for United to pay.
“But they think he has such a high ceiling and he can progress and become world class under Ten Hag, so that basically supports their manager’s coaching ability and what the scouts saw in Hojlund.
“We are told that it is not because of PSG entering the race that United have raised their price; it is simply because, in order to close the deal in time for the player to have enough sessions training with the team to be ready for the start of the season, they wanted to put an agreement in place.
“They feel a compromise has been reached even though they have gone higher than they probably would have liked.”
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Analysis: Hojlund has huge potential
Adam Bate, Sky Sports football writer:
Rasmus Hojlund has captured the imagination after an encouraging season in Serie A and Manchester United are betting on the 20-year-old talent to be European football’s next superstar striker. But how to get the best out of the young Dane?
Sturm Graz’s tactics required Hojlund to make penetrating runs behind the opposing defence. “It requires a lot of sprints and a lot of quick decisions from our forwards, and I think those are Rasmus’ big strengths,” head coach Christian Ilzer said. sky sports.
“I think it was essential that our ethos and style matched his skill set perfectly, so he came into a good environment. Ras was a great addition to our squad with his ability. It was his speed, his overall physique and his willingness to work hard against the ball.”
Ten Hag will welcome some quick pressing but it will take patience. Hojlund is promising, but United need to see significant progress to justify the expense.
He made that progress at Sturm Graz and again with Atalanta. This next step is the key.
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