Hojlund insists Man Utd were always his ‘first priority’ as driving ban from ‘furious’ boss is revealed

Joe Williams
Man Utd striker Rasmus Hojlund
Rasmus Hojlund claps the supporters after his Premier League debut.

New signing Rasmus Hojlund insists a transfer to Manchester United was always his “first priority” over the summer transfer window.

The Red Devils signed the Denmark interntional from Serie A side Atalanta over the summer transfer window in a deal reportedly worth around £72m.

A back injury kept him out of pre-season and Man Utd’s first three Premier League matches of the new campaign.

However, Hojlund made his debut on Sunday when Man Utd lost 3-1 to Arsenal in the Premier League with the Dane playing the final 23 minutes at the Emirates Stadium.

There was rumoured interest in the summer from a number of clubs over the summer but Hojlund chose to hang on to complete a move to Man Utd.

“There was a lot of interest, but for me Manchester United has always been the first priority,” Hojlund told the Danish press.

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“The interest and many of these rumours happen early in the period when I make my breakthrough in the national team. Since then, there has been a nice dialogue, and then something happens when the window opens, where it really gets going.”

But Hojlund wouldn’t reveal the names of the other sides interested in his signature, he added: “I’d rather keep it to myself. But an interest arises, and then the clubs start negotiating, and I myself start talking to the club about how the contract should look.”

Denmark team-mate Joakim Maehle also secured a move away from Atalanta in the summer, sealing a transfer to Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, and Hojlund’s compatriot suggested he was glad to get away from Gian Piero Gasperini.

When asked about his time at Atalanta, Maehle told reporters: “The coach decided everything. And there wasn’t really any freedom. Event though I lived in a nice place and the weather was good, I didn’t have time to enjoy it because we spent so many days and hours at the training ground.

“It was super tough mentally. Even if you played a great game at the weekend, and the following one you didn’t play too well for 20 minutes, you would go to the back of the queue again.

“There was not the continuity you see in other places. Mentally, I could feel that I really needed a change.”

Maehle also revealed an incident saw Gasperini ban the Denmark defender and Hojlund from driving to training in the same car,

When asked if the club felt like ‘a prison’, Maehle added: “You are saying it.”

On Gasperini, Maehle continued: “He really decided everything. Sometimes, when we had a double training session, he said we should stay and sleep at the training facility, so we were not allowed to go back home.

“You don’t feel like a person. You feel like a number. You have no relationship with the coach. He would stand there and blame someone for something strange.

“For example, he was furious when Rasmus (Hojlund) and I came to training by car together.

“He didn’t want us to drive together. Because then we could sit and talk together on the way to training, and enjoy ourselves. He didn’t want that, and I got scolded even if it had been agreed with the club because he (Hojlund) had no driver.

“I don’t know if it’s typical Italians. But some things make you angry and tired in the long run.”