Manchester United target Rasmus Hojlund’s dip in form was due to transfer ‘rumours’, claims Atalanta boss… as he insists the striker was ‘distracted’ by links to Old Trafford during a six-game goal drought
- Rasmus Hojlund burst onto the scene with five goals in two Denmark games
- He then went goalless for six games after links with Manchester United
- Gian Piero Gasperini has blamed his drop in form on ‘distracting’ rumours
Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini has blamed star striker Rasmus Hojlund’s drop in form on being ‘distracted’ by transfer rumours.
The 20-year-old has impressed in his first Serie A season with nine goals in 32 games, but has tailed off since a hot streak from January to March.
He scored in four consecutive club games at the start of the year before bagging a hat-trick and a brace in two games for Denmark.
Hojulnd’s hot streak meant he attracted interest from Manchester United, but the rumours co-incided with a six-game goal drought for the Dane.
Gasperini believes there is a link, as he told Tuttosport on Saturday: ‘The qualities are all there, at the beginning we had to get to know him but he immediately stood out for his great will to break through.’
Atalanta striker Rasmus Hojlund has impressed with nine goals in his first Serie A season
Gian Piero Gasperini blamed the 20-year-old’s loss of form in April on transfer rumours
‘He did very well after the first [part of the season], then he was called up to the national team and too many rumours distracted him, then there was the [abductor] injury.’
The manager spoke after Hojlund got himself back amongst the goals in Atalanta’s 3-1 win over Verona.
Gaperini said the goal ‘demonstrates his power, if he knows how to improve he can take away great satisfaction.
‘You have to know how to accept his moments, he will mature in all aspects.’
Hojlund, who only joined Serie A last August after spending the early years of his career in his native Denmark and Austria, has admitted that a move to Old Trafford would be hard to refuse.
Erik ten Hag is keen on bringing Hojlund to Old Trafford but seems him as a back-up option
Dusn Vlahovic (left) and Victor Osimhen (right) remain United’s preferred options up front
‘I will not hide the fact that I am a huge Manchester United fan,’ he said.
‘So personally, it would be one of the biggest things for me, but of course that doesn’t mean that I would turn down other big clubs if the offers come at some point.’
Erik ten Hag is still believed to be keen on the Danish youngster, but sees him as a £40 million back-up option behind a more established forward.
Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen remain United’s main targets.
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