On Friday, Manchester United completed the acquisition of Christian Eriksen and are close to adding Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez.
Manchester United’s business is finally picking up after a delayed and frustrating start to the summer transfer season.
Erik ten Hag had only added left-back Tyrell Malacia to his squad before United traveled out East for their pre-season tour, but Christian Eriksen was ultimately signed on Friday. After leaving Brentford, the playmaker joined Manchester United on a free transfer and signed a contract until 2025.
The wait for another new recruit will be much shorter, as United is also nearing a £46 million deal for defender Lisandro Martinez. The Ajax center-back is now in Manchester for a medical before signing a five-year contract.
Ten Hag has finally been allowed to add Martinez to his defensive ranks, albeit the Argentine and Eriksen will not be able to join their new teammates until they return from their trip a week from Monday. Martinez has plenty of time to choose his new shirt number because he will not be participating in the forthcoming pre-season friendlies against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
The No.6 position was vacated this summer when Paul Pogba left the club, and as a classic center-back number, Martinez may choose this option. The 24-year-old has previously worn the number for his national team and former club Defensa y Justicia.
With the departure of reserve goalkeeper Lee Grant, No.13 becomes available. It is generally a backup shot-number, stopper’s but Park Ji-sung made it his own during his stint at the club.
Martinez wore the No.14 jersey for his first club, Newell’s Old Boys, as well as Argentina’s Under-20 team, so it may be another option for him. After Jesse Lingard’s departure from the club last month, the number became available.
Andreas Pereira’s exit from Old Trafford this week, as he made a permanent move to Fulham, means No.15 is once again available. It’s a number associated with a renowned Manchester United center-back in Nemanja Vidic.
Bruno Fernandes eventually got his wish and took his preferred No.8 after Juan Mata departed the club, therefore No.18 is up for grabs. While donning the jersey, Paul Scholes became a club icon.
Martinez, who has worn No.21 for the past four years at Ajax, may choose it if he gets his way. The number, however, may be reserved for top target Frenkie de Jong because it is the midfielder’s favorite.
Martinez has already worn No.24 for Defensa y Justicia for two seasons and may do so again at Old Trafford. It’s been available at United for a year, having previously been worn by Timothy Fosu-Mensah and, most notably, Darren Fletcher.
Other numbers under 40 are available: 30, 31, 32, and 35.