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Manchester United offered two midfielders before accepting cash-only demand for Rasmus Hojlund

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Chelsea join Manchester United in the race for Atalanta striker Rasmus Hojlund .

Manchester United offered Fred and Donny van de Beek before accepting cash-only demand from Atalanta for Rasmus Højlund

The Athletic (Subscription Requirerd) reports that Manchester United offered Fred and Donny van de Beek in a cash-plus swap deal to sign Rasmus Højlund from Serie A side Atalanta.

The Red Devils signed Højlund for €85m from Atalanta during the summer, despite links to many other forwards.

Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) also showed interest in Højlund and offered him a bigger salary. However, the 20-year-old had his heart set on United, a club he had supported since his childhood days in Copenhagen.

Manchester United striker Rasmus Hojlund
Manchester United star Rasmus Højlund had his heart set on United despite a better wage offer from Paris Saint-Germain. (Image- Manchester United/Getty Images)

Former United midfielder Fred signed for Turkish club Fenerbahçe for a deal worth €10m plus €5m add-ons.

Whereas, Van de Beek is still with the Red Devils but he has not featured for the club so far this season. Daily Mail reported that Ligue 1 side FC Lorient wanted Van de Beek on loan but opted out due to the player’s behavior towards them.

United are facing restrictions in the transfer market due to the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. The Red Devils are open to selling players to raise funds to buy players that fit the required profile.

The Athletic report further suggests that Atalanta’s head of senior recruitment, Lee Congerton valued Højlund at €100m. The Red Devils kept other options in mind while negotiating with Atalanta in case the Italian club doesn’t budge from their valuation.

United manager Erik ten Hag pushed for the Danish international over other forward options that were available during the summer.

The United manager viewed Højlund as a long-term project at the club with the ability to immediately contribute as well. Many aspects of Højlund’s game are raw and Ten Hag accepted the challenge of assisting the player fulfill his potential.

The SEG agency, representing Ten Hag, played a role in the Højlund saga. Kees Vos, co-founder of SEG, helped in negotiating the Danish forward’s contract with United.

The 20-year-old has impressed the United fans so far in the few games he played despite the club’s struggle with form.

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The January transfer window might shed some light on the future of Van de Beek and other unused United players. United fans should find the Højlund signing more satisfying, considering that the player received a higher rating from the Atalanta management.