Man Utd make last-ditch attempt to hijack deal for Hojlund alternative; Rashford deal ‘really close’

Joe Williams
Man Utd transfer target Vitor Roque
Vitor Roque celebrates scoring a goal for Athletico Paranaense.

Man Utd are one of a number of clubs making last-ditch attempts to sign Vitor Roque ahead of Barcelona, according to reports.

The Red Devils are still desperate to sign a new striker this summer after Cristiano Ronaldo left Old Trafford in November following a controversial interview with Piers Morgan.

Wout Weghorst joined on loan in January as Man Utd put a plaster on the issue but, now the Netherlands international has returned to Burnley, the Red Devils have made a new striker one of their top priorities this summer.

Deals for Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen seem to be proving too costly for the Premier League side with Erik ten Hag’s side recently making a £30m bid for Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund.

It was turned down by the Serie A outfit but Man Utd are preparing to go back in with another bid of £40m in an effort to get a relatively low-cost striker over the line.

Another potential option is Athletico Paranaense forward Roque with Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo claiming that ‘this week could be decisive to know the future of the young scorer’.

READ MORE: Mediawatch: Man Utd latest: Mason Greenwood has haircut and transfer ‘tactics’ revealed for striker

Barcelona and Athletico Paranaense have apparently already ‘sealed a pre-agreement for the transfer’ with a deal worth €35m with another €10m in potential add-ons.

It is understood that the Catalan giants have offered a six-year contract with a €1bn release clause and now Barca just have to ‘send the last document’ to complete the deal.

Mundo Deportivo add that ‘there is confidence in being able to close the operation’ but ‘powerful teams’ like Man Utd, Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain are ‘pressing him to change his mind and agree to join their respective projects’.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Marcus Rashford is now “really close” to signing a new long-term contract at Man Utd following months of negotiations.

Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column: “I can confirm that Marcus Rashford is really close to signing new long term deal at United, though when it’ll be announced is up to the club. It’s technically not done yet, some details have to be clarified soon but talks are very advanced.

“I’m sure fans will be relieved by this news after Rashford’s excellent form under Erik ten Hag last season, and it looks a good move for all parties to continue together. I can also say that Man United believe this is like a new signing because Rashford was out of contract in 2024 and many top clubs including PSG were keeping close eye on Marcus’ situation.

“Rashford is a huge talent who could surely shine for almost any team, but to lose him just as he gets into the peak years of his career would have been unthinkable, so this looks like very good news which they should be able to confirm soon, with just details still to be finalised.

“While we’re on Man Utd, I understand that both Fred and Donny van de Beek could be on the move this summer. Manchester United are open to letting them go in case they receive good proposals, so talks will take place; Fulham’s interest in Fred is true but I’m told there are also more clubs who could be in the race.

“For Harry Maguire, my understanding is things are still less clear and that the player will speak to Erik ten Hag soon to clarify his situation. This has been the plan for a while, but this meeting still needs to happen, and after that we’ll see what decision all parties come to.”

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