Hojlund has not been given a Man Utd shirt number as unusual reason emerges

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Hojlund has not been given a Man Utd shirt number as unusual reason emerges
Hojlund has not been given a Man Utd shirt number as unusual reason emerges

Manchester United finally announced the signing of 20-year-old Rasmus Hojlund on Saturday afternoon, with the club unveiling their £72million addition in front of the Old Trafford faithful.

However, many fans have noticed that as of yet, Hojlund still does not have a squad number for his new side. It is now believed that the striker is waiting for the same number he wore at his previous side Atalanta to become free at United, as it is currently occupied by much-maligned midfielder Fred.

Hojlund donned the number 17 for the Serie A outfit last term and has also previously worn the number nine for Sturm Graz. That squad number is also currently unavailable, with Anthony Martial the owner and despite his recent struggles, the Frenchman looks set to stay at Old Trafford for another season.

Fred, however, is one of six United players set to be transfer listed by manager Erik ten Hag who is looking to trim his bloated Red Devils squad. According to The Mail, United want a firmer idea of who they will be able to shift before reaching a decision on Hojlund's squad number.

Brazil international Fred has just one year left to run on his current United contract and has attracted interest from elsewhere. Fellow Premier League side Fulham are keen on the midfielder, while Galatasaray are also weighing up a potential bid for his services.

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Given this summer presents United's last chance to recoup some cash for the man they forked out £53m for back in 2018, the Red Devils are more than willing to do business and are even reportedly ready to part ways with Fred for as little as £20m.

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Hojlund has not been given a Man Utd shirt number as unusual reason emergesRasmus Hojlund is yet to be given a squad number at Man United (Manchester United via Getty Imag)

As mentioned, United are not just looking to sell Fred but five other first-teamers also, with Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay both the subject of interest from West Ham. The Hammers have already lodged one £20m bid for Maguire but will have to offer up much more if they want to land the pair of the Red Devils stars.

Dean Henderson had looked like he was nailed on to join Nottingham Forest on loan for a second successive season, though United's preference for that transfer to be permanent as well as Forest's pursuit of Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner makes this particular deal a difficult one to finalise.

Eric Bailly is expected to leave this summer given he isn't even training with the United senior squad as it stands and is attracting interest from a number of Saudi Arabian clubs. The writing is also on the wall for £40m flop Donny van de Beek, with his most likely destination Real Sociedad after three underwhelming years at Old Trafford.

With that being said, Fred remains the most likely to depart and if he were to leave before United's Premier League opener against Wolves on August 14, Hojlund would most likely take the number 17 for his debut season in Manchester at the very least.

Josh O'Brien

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