Rasmus Højlund’s relocation from Atalanta to Manchester is building more and more traction by the day.
The Danish striker has quickly emerged as the number one option for United this summer, with Erik ten Hag an ardent admirer.
The Dutch manager reportedly “loves” Højlund and believes he is the “perfect player” to fit into the developing tactical set-up at Old Trafford. Ten Hag has made clear the importance of a new striker, detailing the profile he requires as far back as April.
Højlund possesses impressive physical traits with the raw tools to succeed at the highest level, but it remains to be seen whether he can establish this skillset at the top echelon of European football.
Nine goals in thirty-two Serie A games for Atalanta does not scream star striker, yet six goals in only four European Championship Qualifiers offers a glimpse into Højlund’s future.
The physically imposing striker only turned 20 in February; his scope for rapid improvement is obvious, particularly in a league where pace and power reign supreme.
Ten Hag is said to not be concerned about the Premier League adaptation process, believing Højlund capable of “establishing himself quickly” in English football.
While comparisons to Erling Haaland are premature, and certain to end in disappointment, Højlund will be joining a team starved of quality up front. The expectations amongst the Stretford End in what a striker is capable of has reached such a nadir that the Dane merely needs to stay fit and run fast to succeed; anything else will be a pleasant bonus.
Reports indicate United have been in conversation with Atalanta regarding a deal for some time, but a formal bid is now imminent. A discrepancy in the respective club’s valuations of the player infers this may be a protracted deal, but all parties involved seem keen.
The transfer to United is said to be a “priority” for Højlund, who appears to mirror his prospective manager’s desire. Ten Hag and Højlund are believed to have held several video calls together already.
The Dane has already “agreed on terms” with United, aided by his new representation,SEG International Agency – the same agency who represent Ten Hag.
Similarly, Atalanta themselves appear resigned to the deal. Luca Percassi, CEO of la Dea, described the most important consideration for his club is keeping players “who want to be protagonists” with Atalanta. With Højlund seemingly believing his dreams lie in a different Theatre, a resolution appears imminent.
Ten Hag may soon have his long-coveted number nine – a player he “loves” and is a “perfect” tactical fit.