Manchester United are becoming increasingly confident they will sign a striker before the start of the Premier League season, sources have told ESPN, as talks with Atalanta over a deal for Rasmus Höjlund begin to pick up pace.
United have indicated to the Italian side that they are willing to offer €50 million ($56m) for Höjlund. There remains a gap in valuation between the clubs but Atalanta, according to sources, are open to agreeing a compromise.
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United are also talking to Eintracht Frankfurt about Randal Kolo Muani and to Ajax about Mohammed Kudus to ensure a forward arrives before the season kicks off with a game against Wolves at Old Trafford on Aug. 14.
Speaking after the defeat to Real Madrid, Ten Hag said: “We are working 24/7 [to sign a striker]. We do a lot in the club, all the power to get this done.”
Höjlund remains the most likely signing.
Sources have told ESPN that there is an acceptance within the recruitment department that signing the 20-year-old would represent a gamble given his age and lack of experience at the highest level.
The Denmark international has not yet played 100 senior games and last season scored nine goals in 32 games in Serie A.
To compensate, manager Erik ten Hag is willing to use Marcus Rashford as a centre forward next season. Rashford has looked most dangerous playing on the left wing but Ten Hag, according to sources, understands the England forward may have to play through the middle more often to allow Höjlund to come in and out of the team while he gets up to speed in the Premier League.
Rashford started as the No. 9 in the 2-0 defeat to Madrid in Houston on Wednesday while Jadon Sancho started in the role against Arsenal in New Jersey.
United, according to sources, are also willing to keep hold of Anthony Martial as another experienced option at centre forward.
The Frenchman is still recovering from the hamstring injury which ruled him out of the end of last season and has not yet featured in preseason.
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