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Atalanta sign El-Bilal Toure in club-record deal

After weeks of negotiations with Almeria, Atalanta officially announced the arrival of up-and-coming striker El-Bilal Toure on Saturday.

While the announcement fails to disclose the fee, it’s believed they have shelled out around €30 million to snap up the Mali international.

Toure joined Almeria only last summer to help the club maintain La Liga status in their first top-flight season since 2014/15, putting pen to paper on a six-year contract.

Despite La Union’s season-long struggle in the lower reaches, the talented forward went from strength to strength, clocking up seven goals and two assists in 21 league appearances.

Numbers aside, Toure proved his credentials in high-profile fixtures, finding the net in a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid and scoring a winning goal in an unexpected 1-0 triumph over Barcelona last February.

His first season in Spain earned him a host of interest across Europe, with Everton emerging as potential candidates to capture his services amid Sean Dyche’s search for a new striker.

But Toure has had a verbal agreement with Atlanta for almost a month, so when the Toffees came knocking on his door, his mind was already made up.

The former Reims man’s arrival handed Manchester United’s quest to sign prodigious marksman Rasmus Hojlund a decisive boost.

Erik ten Hag has been vying for the Denmark international’s signature since being priced out of a move for Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, naming the 20-year-old his top target.

Negotiations between Man Utd and Atalanta over Hojlund’s switch to Old Trafford reached a conclusion today, with the clubs agreeing a £64m fee plus add-ons.

The ex-Sturm Graz starlet was left out of Atalanta’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon, which suggested the transfer was nearing completion.

Despite Paris Saint-Germain’s last-ditch attempt to hijack the Red Devils’ bid to bring Hojlund to the Premier League, Ten Hag has finalised his third major summer signing.

Mason Mount joined United from Chelsea in a blockbuster deal at the start of the summer before Andre Onana left Inter Milan to replace David de Gea between the sticks.

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