Manchester United must do something they’ve never done before to sign their next targe

Erik ten Hag is set to get his Rasmus Hojlund wish at Man United this summer but player sales will surely be needed before any other additions.

Signing a world-class striker is never easy, and it’s even more difficult when budgets are tight.Manchester United quickly addressed two problem areas of their squad with the additions of Mason Mount and Andre Onana, but Erik ten Hag’s primary target this summer was always to sign a striker.

United fans would not be preparing for the Champions League anthem to return to Old Trafford this season were it not for the goals of Marcus Rashford, and Ten Hag knows he can’t rely on the academy graduate to carry on shouldering the goalscoring burden alone.

MEN Sport revealed earlier this summer that the United boss was ‘obsessed’ with Tottenham talisman Harry Kane, but with the stubborn Daniel Levy seemingly scuppering any chances of a deal, the club moved on and were thrilled to have reached agreement for Atalanta starlet Rasmus Hojlund.

While the 20-year-old bagged just nine goals in Serie A last season, his exploits at international level suggest he’s a striker with the talent and temperament needed to make an impact at the top level.

Atalanta were said to want up to €100m (£85.6m) for the starlet but United managed to secure a deal for £64m plus a potential £8m in add-ons. United had already spent £102m on Mount and Onana so attention will now have to turn to shifting fringe players before any more additions are made. And that is proving easier said than done.Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek, Fred and Scott McTominay could all be sold this summer, and you’d expect all to fetch handsome fees. But shipping players out for decent money is not an area of expertise for United.Incredibly, United have never sold more than one player in a transfer window for over £15m. The closest they came was all the way back in 2003 when David Beckham was sold to Real Madrid for £25m and Juan Sebastian Veron was sold to Chelsea for £15m.

United have slapped a £50m price tag on Harry Maguire and want £40m for Scott McTominay. The club spent a combined £150m on Martial, Van de Beek and Fred, so they won’t be allowing any of the aforementioned players to leave on the cheap.United’s need for another central midfielder is clear – as well as potentially another forward – and you’d imagine they’ll need to sell at least two of the players mentioned above if they’re to get those additions. Ten Hag needs the club’s transfer team to do something they’ve never done before if he’s to get his wish.

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