Hojlund waiting for dream Man Utd squad number amid Ten Hag transfer plan

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Hojlund waiting for dream Man Utd squad number amid Ten Hag transfer plan
Hojlund waiting for dream Man Utd squad number amid Ten Hag transfer plan

New Manchester United signing Rasmus Hojlund has yet to be given a squad number by the club, but a summer exit for Fred could free up the number the Dane wore for previous club Atalanta.

Hojlund's arrival from the Serie A club was finally confirmed over the weekend following a lengthy period of negotiations. Erik ten Hag's side have agreed a deal worth £72m for the 20-year-old, who has six goals in six games for the Danish national team.

The youngster wore the number 17 for Atalanta last season and the number nine for previous club Sturm Graz. Neither number is currently available, but that could soon be about to change.

According to The Mail, United want a firmer idea of their outgoings before reaching a decision on Hojlund's squad number. Ten Hag's men have longer to wait than some rivals when it comes to the big Premier League kick-off, with their opener coming against Wolves on August 14.

An exit for Fred looks like the most likely solution, with less interest in current number nine Anthony Martial. Brazil international Fred is into the final year of his contract, and has attracted interest from Fulham and Galatasaray, among others.

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United paid £53m for the former Shakhtar Donetsk man when he joined in 2018. With the 30-year-old in the final year of his deal, the club can expect to take a hit, but a sum of £20m could still be in the offing.

Which squad number should Hojlund take? Have your say in the comments section

Hojlund waiting for dream Man Utd squad number amid Ten Hag transfer planRasmus Hojlund wore the number 17 shirt last season at Atalanta (Getty Images)

Hojlund has signed a deal with Man Utd which runs until 2028, marking him out as a player both for now and for the future. However, thanks to an injury sustained during pre-season training, the Dane may need to wait to make his debut for his new club

“He is really a front man, very direct to the goal," manager Ten Hag told club media. "A very good presser, a physical presence and I think in the balance of this squad we needed that.

“Alongside Rashford, [he is] another player who is direct and can score goals and that is all in his mind – he wants to score goals. I think he has such a huge potential and now it is up first to him to explore that and we will support him – all the coaches,”

Hojlund himself has spoken of his eagerness to get started. He pointed out it is "no secret" that he followed United as a youngster, adding that a conversation with Ten Hag made his decision easy.

"Once I had spoken to the manager, I knew that this environment would be perfect for my development," he said. I am relishing the opportunity to work with one of the best coaches in the world. Under his guidance and support, I know that I am capable of achieving great things together with my new team-mates at this special club.”

Tom Victor

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