Manchester United will be in transition this summer, and a slew of transfer targets have already been linked with transfers to Old Trafford.
Following the appointment of Erik ten Hag as manager, United is likely to have a summer like no other in recent memory, with several new names expected to join the club. They’ve already begun to clear the decks, stating that Lee Grant, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, and Edinson Cavani will all depart when their contracts expire at the end of this month.
Their departures will drastically reduce the club’s pay expenditure, allowing United to bring in new players to enhance numerous areas of the squad. The three most critical areas for United to improve are at center-back, central-midfield, and up to attack, and a slew of candidates have already been connected with filling those positions.
Ten Hag will need to provide a shirt number to anybody he adds to his roster this summer. With additional departures expected as the summer progresses, we’ve highlighted some of the jerseys that are already available and will be soon when the out-of-contract contingent departs at the end of June.
The famous shirt number, worn by Pogba since his return to United in August 2016, has become vacant as a result of the Frenchman’s probable departure. It has previously been worn by a number of high-profile athletes, including Jaap Stam, Steve Bruce, Rio Ferdinand, and the late Duncan Edwards.
Mata has worn it since joining United from Chelsea, and the Spaniard’s impending departure means it will soon be available for a possible new signing to purchase. The No.8 shirt is considered one of the most famous shirt numbers in football, having been worn by a long line of United greats throughout the years, including Sir Bobby Charlton, Ryan Giggs, and Wayne Rooney.
The No.12 shirt has been available at Old Trafford since Chris Smalling left to join Roma in 2020. He wore the number for ten years after joining Fulham in 2010.
It has a long history at United, having been worn by players such as Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, and Bryan Robson. Wearing it next season may be regarded as a privilege for any newcomer.
The No.13 jersey, which has been vacated by goalie Grant, is available for the first time since 2018 for a prospective new recruit. Anders Lindegaard wore it before Grant adopted it four years ago. Ji-sung Park is one of the most prominent people that have worn it.
The No.14 shirt, which Lingard has worn since the 2016/17 season, is for sale this summer. Several notable figures, including David Beckham, Javier Hernandez, and Giggs, have worn the number over the years.
Cavani switched to No.21 after giving up the No.7 shirt to Cristiano Ronaldo last year when the Portugal captain returned to M16. Cavani took up the No.21 jersey from Daniel James, who joined Leeds United on deadline day last summer.
Prior to James, the No.21 shirt had been worn by Ander Herrera, Diego Forlan, and Brazilian Rafael.
The No.24 shirt, which has only had six occupants in United’s rich and colorful history, will also be available this summer. It is, however, a number worn by numerous renowned names over the years, including Wes Brown, Darren Fletcher, Scholes, and Beckham.
Finally, the No.31 shirt will be given to any new recruits following Matic’s departure. The Serbian has worn the shirt since joining United in August 2017, and it has previously been worn by Bastian Schweinsteiger and Marouane Fellaini.
*Shirt numbers greater than 31 are available.