Paris Saint-Germain’s efforts to hijack Man United’s deal for Rasmus Hojlund this summer were immense and even involved a call to the player from the club’s president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
United finally signed Hojlund for £72.9 million, with rumours of PSG’s interest laughed off by many at the time as a negotiating ploy.
But according to The Athletic, the bid from the French giants was not only real, but considerable.
The outlet claims that PSG’s opening offer for the Dane was €50 million and that they also offered him a higher salary than that agreed with United.
But “the pull of playing at Old Trafford was the overriding factor” in Hojlund’s decision to join United.
Al-Khelaifi stepped in personally to try to persuade the young star. The Athletic says that Hojlund “listened politely” to the “pitch”, but did not waver.
“By that stage, Hojlund had also got acquainted over video calls with Erik ten Hag, and understood the desire United’s manager had to add him to his squad,” the outlet says.
“Hojlund spoke to the Dutchman several times before signing and was told in detail how he would fit into the team.”
The fight continued, though, with the Paris club sending in an increased offer of €60 million. There were also indications that they were “prepared to go to €80m”, although this has been denied by the club.
United also had information that Spurs were interested in the striker as they approached an agreement with Bayern Munich to sell Harry Kane.
This backdrop of clubs fighting over Hojlund’s services explains, on reflection, how United ended up having to pay €85 million for a player who Atalanta had been said to value at just €40 million at the start of the summer window.
That €85 million could still turn out to be a bargain if the player fulfills the obvious potential he possesses.