Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd line up club-record £100m striker signing after Ratcliffe reaches huge Hojlund decision

Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, striker Rasmus Hojlund, Brighton striker Evan Ferguson

Man Utd are sizing up Evan Ferguson after making a call on Rasmus Hojlund

Manchester United will move for a specific type of new striker this summer having performed a U-turn on Rasmus Hojlund, and a top source has named a £100m-rated Premier League ace who’s in their sights.

The Red Devils forked out a package worth £72m to sign Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta last summer. Eyebrows were raised at the size of the sum, while the sceptics were in full voice when the Dane struggled in the early going.

That led to Man Utd exploring the transfer market in January for an experienced figure to help lighten the load and ease the pressure on Hojlund.

With United’s budget razor thin, a loan move for 35-year-old Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting of Bayern Munich was explored. Ultimately, Man Utd did not go through with the move.

But since the turn of the year Hojlund has found his feet, as well as the back of the net.

Hojlund has notched seven goals in his last six league matches and according to trusted reporter Ben Jacobs, Man Utd are now fully convinced.

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Hojlund surge alters striker signing plans

Jacobs stated a new striker is still on the agenda this summer, but in lieu of now being able to trust Hojlund, United will move for a younger player rather than an older head.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be a cheap affair, however, with Jacobs listing Brighton ace Evan Ferguson among three targets United are considering.

Ferguson has been a revelation for the Seagulls and has been widely tipped to become a £100m player when the time comes to leave.

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At present, Man Utd’s club-record signing remains the £89.3m paid to buy Paul Pogba back from Juventus in 2016.

Jacobs stated a deal for Ferguson could potentially be made for the lower sum of £80m, though acknowledged Brighton may hold out for nine figures.

Ferguson is operating at a goal every 194 minutes in the EPL. While that may not sound overly impressive, it’s important to note he’s putting up those numbers as a teenager.

Evan Ferguson has a mins-per-goal record of 194 in the Premier League

How Evan Ferguson’s mins-per-goal record in the Premier League compares to Man Utd’s last few main strikers

Once Ferguson refines his game, gains experience and plays alongside higher calibre players, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him regularly breach the 20 goals per season barrier.

In the event Man Utd sour on Ferguson or Brighton make a deal too expensive, Jacobs noted Bologna’s Joshua Zirkzee and RB Leipzig’s Benjamin Sesko are also admired.

Zirkzee, 22, and Sesko, 20, would both represent far cheaper alternatives to Ferguson. Zirkzee is valued around the €50m mark, while Sesko’s contract with Leipzig contains a €50m release clause.

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