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Rasmus Hojlund could get second-choice shirt number at Man United as exit is ‘in the balance’



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Credit: IMAGO / GEPA pictures

Rasmus Hojlund will join Manchester United imminently after the club agreed a deal with Atalanta for the 20-year-old striker.

The deal will cost a reported £64 million with an additional £8 million in add-ons. The talented forward will come into the side as an exciting option to play as the striker in Erik ten Hag’s side.

One of the most anticipated things after a new player signs is what shirt number they will occupy at Old Trafford. New signings Mason Mount and Andre Onana have not disappointed in this regard.

The goalkeeper chose against wearing the traditional no.1 for the starting goalkeeper, opting for no.24 instead, whilst the English midfielder has taken the responsibility of the legendary no.7 shirt.

Hojlund will be coming into the club as the first-choice option as a no.9 – however, it’s unlikely that he’s able to wear that number next season.

Anthony Martial is the current owner of that shirt and has been since Romelu Lukaku left the club in 2019. He also wore it when he joined United in 2015 but had it taken away when Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined two years later.

His inability to remain fit has led to buying a striker being a priority this summer. He is highly rated by Ten Hag but the manager knows that his inconsistencies and unreliability are both major red flags.

In fact, the latest reports from Jamie Jackson of The Guardian state that Ten Hag’s feelings that he cannot rely on the Frenchman has led to his future being in the balance – although it was added that the manager is impressed with what the player can offer when fit.

A sale, however, seems more unlikely, especially because depth up front is razor thin. Martial remaining would, of course, mean that Hojlund would be unable to wear the no.9 shirt, which is the number he wore when he broke into the team at SK Sturm Graz.

Yet, another player could actually leave the club and provide Hojlund to continue with the shirt number he has wore at Atalanta.

Brazilian midfielder Fred has ‘no problems’ with agreeing personal terms with Galatasaray and also has other clubs interested in his services this summer.

With a midfield addition wanted, exits are expected in the coming weeks and Fred’s departure would leave the no.17 free for Hojlund to take. That is the number he was successful with in his one and only campaign at Atalanta last term.