Man Utd leapfrog Arsenal, Chelsea with formal move for unstoppable striker after alternative deal hits dead end

Erik ten Hag Manchester United manager

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

Man Utd have taken a ‘concrete’ step towards signing a striker who’s burst onto the scene this season, though an alternative deal looks to have hit a dead end, per reports.

The primary focus at Old Trafford this summer is signing a top class striker. Additions in central midfield and right-back could also come, but a new No 9 is the top priority.

To that end, Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen are believed to be atop Man Utd’s agenda. Osimhen is likely to cost in excess of £100m, while the Daily Express claimed Kane can actually be signed for a discounted £88m.

Regardless, both deals will be difficult to pull off given Tottenham and Napoli are dead set against selling. In the event Spurs are cajoled into parting ways with their all-time top scorer, they’d much prefer to sell overseas than to a domestic rival too.

As such, alternative targets may have to be explored and two who’ve been linked with the Red Devils include Rasmus Hojlund of Atalanta and Brighton’s Evan Ferguson.

The latter, 18, is operating at a goal contribution once every 100 minutes in the league for the Seagulls this season. The Daily Mail reported Newcastle and Chelsea like what they’ve seen, though it’s Man Utd and Tottenham showing the ‘strongest’ interest.

However, speaking exclusively to TEAMtalk, transfer insider Graeme Bailey explained Brighton “fully intend” to reward Ferguson with a new deal very shortly.

Furthermore, the Mail added Ferguson is aware the regular minutes he’s getting at Brighton is doing wonders for his development. He’d be unlikely to get those same chances at Man Utd if signed in conjunction with a higher profile frontman.

Now, according to a fresh update from the Belfast Telegraph, a Man Utd move for Ferguson this summer has hit a dead end.

They claim Ferguson is expected to commit his long-term future to the club by signing a new deal. In the event any Man Utd bids are lodged, they’ll reportedly all be rejected.

READ MORE: Ten Hag reignites blockbuster Man Utd swoop for world-class star who will leave Spain if key demand is met

Man Utd make formal move for Rasmus Hojlund

But while Ferguson is a no-go until further into the future, news from Denmark has put Man Utd firmly in the frame for Rasmus Hojlund.

The 20-year-old Dane hit the headlines during the last international break when scoring five goals in two appearances for the senior Denmark side.

Hojlund plies his trade at club level for Atalanta where he’s earning rave reviews while leading the line.

Danish outlet BT provide an update on what the future holds for Hojlund, revealing Man Utd and Real Madrid have both submitted a ‘letter of interest’ to Atalanta.

The outlet explains that means Atalanta have received written confirmation of United and Real’s interest in the player ahead of the summer window.

While that doesn’t necessarily mean Hojlund is destined for Old Trafford, it is a formal step towards that outcome.

BT note Man Utd are far from alone in chasing Hojlund. Indeed, Arsenal and Chelsea are namechecked in the piece, as are Juventus, AC Milan, Napoli, Barcelona and ​​Bayern Munich from continental Europe.

Hojlund is currently without representation, though the report concludes he’s ‘approaching an agreement with a new agent’.

Once in place, Hojlund and his camp will reportedly begin exploring what promises to be numerous opportunities in the market this summer.

The Daily Mail previously cited a £60m valuation when discussing Hojlund’s future.

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