Man Utd chief Murtough red-faced after Ferguson transfer bid was ‘laughed off’

Man Utd train ahead of Bayern Munich clash

Manchester United chief John Murtough was left red-faced in the summer after his side reportedly saw a bid ‘laughed off’ for Brighton star Evan Ferguson, per new reports. The Irishman was identified as a target by the higher powers at Old Trafford when searching for a striker. United eventually settled on forking out £72million for Rasmus Hojlund.

Erik ten Hag made it no secret that he needed a true goalscorer heading into the summer transfer window, with Victor Osimhen and Harry Kane both linked with a move to the club. It soon emerged that the price tags involved would surpass what they were willing – or could afford – to pay.

The Red Devils then probed Atalanta for an asking price for Hojlund before eventually striking a deal for the Denmark international later in the window. However, it has emerged that the towering No 9 was not the only striker pursued.

According to ESPN, United saw a £50m bid for Ferguson knocked back by Brighton over the summer following his impressive breakthrough campaign at the Amex Stadium. The offer is said to have been ‘laughed off’ by the Seagulls, who have gained a reputation for gaining the maximum value from their assets.

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Brighton cashed in on the services of Alexis Mac Allister, Robert Sanchez and Moises Caicedo over the summer in order to fund their own spending spree, and they made it well-known that they did not want to completely rebuild with their debut in the Europa League in mind.

Ferguson has made an electric start to life in the Premier League and, aged 18, it is no surprise that United are among a host of clubs keen on acquiring his services. The teenager has scored four in five so far this season, though that somewhat understates his influence out of possession and when dropping deep to link up play.

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Manchester City and Chelsea are among the clubs to have been linked with Ferguson recently, and United signing the ex-Bohemians would be a significant coup given that he will have a long-term future at whichever club he decides to join.

Brighton ensured that they would receive an eyewatering fee for the No 9 when tying him down to a bumper new contract extension earlier this year and a fee in the region of £150m has been speculatively sounded out.

The fee would be a significant hit for any side, and United may be more likely to cough up that level of transfer fee if the Glazers sell the club to either Sheikh Jassim or Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

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