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With Erik ten Hag reportedly wanting two new strikers at Manchester United this summer but focusing solely on Atalanta striker Rasmus Hojlund, he may have already settled on an internal alternative. Mason Greenwood is expected to return to football this season, and Ten Hag could be saving him a space in his squad.
United are advancing their interest in Hojlund, submitting a verbal offer worth around £51million this week.
The 20-year-old Denmark international is said to have chosen Old Trafford as his preferred destination amid rival interest from PSG.
But earlier this month, the Manchester Evening News claimed that Ten Hag wanted to add two new faces to his attack this summer.
And United’s budget is unlikely to stretch much further beyond Hojlund’s price tag without player sales, potentially leaving the Dutchman short of his desired options.
That’s where Greenwood comes in.
United’s No 11 is awaiting a verdict on his future as the club conduct an internal investigation to decide whether he will play for them again after charges of attempted rape, assault and coercive control against the striker were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
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Earlier in pre-season, Ten Hag confirmed that he had informed United of his stance on Greenwood’s future as he prepares for his second campaign in charge.
He told reporters: “It’s a club decision, and of course, I shared my opinions, but it’s a club decision, and we all have to accept that.
“I can’t say so much about it, but I shared my opinion about it, so let’s see what’s going to happen.”
And it would make sense if Ten Hag viewed Greenwood as a potential new signing this season, given the 21-year-old’s suspension started before his arrival.
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United are short of striker options after Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit in November. If Marcus Rashford isn’t playing as Ten Hag’s striker, he only has injury-prone Anthony Martial as cover.
Hojlund’s signing would release plenty of that pressure. But Greenwood would provide competition for a starting berth up front or on the right if he rediscovered his electric promise after breaking into the first team.
His return to football will be divisive and should be overseen correctly by whichever club he plays for next.
But from the mind of Ten Hag, he may view Greenwood as a valuable option if United sanction his stay.
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