£20m Man Utd player ‘rejected’ by European club as swap deal for top striker target is snubbed

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd offer swap deal
Man Utd trio Antony, Fred and Bruno Fernandes.

Serie A outfit Atalanta reportedly ‘rejected’ the chance to sign Man Utd midfielder Fred, who was offered as part of a swap deal for Rasmus Hojlund.

Now that United have a deal in place for Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana, their focus is switching to acquiring a striker (or two) before next season.

Tottenham’s Harry Kane, Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani have all been linked with the Red Devils, but they are currently prioritising Atalanta youngster Hojlund, who has been involved in 14 goals in his first 34 outings for the Italian side.

On Tuesday afternoon, it was revealed that Man Utd have come to an ‘agreement’ with Hojlund over ‘personal terms’, but they are yet to settle on a fee with Atalanta.

It has been reported in recent days that Man Utd are keen on a swap deal, but Atalanta want €70m in a cash-only transfer. 

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has now revealed that Fred has been “discussed” as part of a proposed swap deal, but Atalanta “had no interest”.

“As I reported yesterday, Manchester United are now preparing their opening offer for Rasmus Hojlund. They have an agreement on personal terms with the Atalanta striker, it’s 100% agreed between United and the player, so they now just need to find a solution with his club,” Romano told Caught Offside.

READ MORE: Hojlund next… Ranking Man Utd’s striker signings since Ruud van Nistelrooy left

“Atalanta won’t be easy to negotiate with, as they want €65-70m for Hojlund and have already rejected the possibility of signing United players as part of the deal. One of the players discussed was Fred, but Atalanta had no interest as they’re not looking for players there.

“Atalanta have made it very clear that they want money, not players; something around €70m. Manchester United are now expected to bid soon, let’s see how much, but they want Hojlund as their new striker, and he would also love the move to Old Trafford. Another other option being considered is Randal Kolo Muani, but at the moment the focus seems to be on Hojlund.”

Fred slipped down the pecking order last season under Erik ten Hag as the Brazil international only made 12 starts in the Premier League.

The midfielder has been heavily linked with a summer move to Premier League rivals Fulham, but Marco Silva’s side are understood to have baulked at United’s ‘prohibitive’ £20m asking price. 

The Cottagers will argue that this valuation is excessive given that Fred is due to be out of contract at the end of next season.

READ MORE: Have Man Utd smashed this window or absolutely f***ed it with Onana fee?