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10th Jul 2017

Romelu Lukaku reveals he asked Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s permission before choosing the number nine shirt at Man United

"I want to thank him"

Simon Lloyd

Romelu Lukaku is a Manchester United player.

Having pretty much confirmed the news in an interview with ESPN over the weekend, his move to Old Trafford was officially announced on Monday afternoon.

As we told you earlier, Lukaku will wear the number nine shirt for his new club – not the number ten, as some reports had claimed over the weekend.

The Belgian did of course play in the number ten shirt throughout his time at Goodison Park, and the number was available at Old Trafford following Wayne Rooney’s move in the opposite direction to Lukaku. However, the 24-year-old has opted for nine – the number worn by Zlatan Ibrahimovic last season.

Ibrahimovic is currently without a club after a knee injury towards the end of the season scuppered any hopes of agreeing a one-year extension to his contract at United. Despite this, he is expected to continue his rehabilitation at the club’s Carrington training complex with some reports suggesting he might be offered a short-term deal by Jose Mourinho when he has recovered.

Having revealed that he has chosen to wear nine at United, Lukaku explained how he’d asked Ibrahimovic’s permission first.

“Strikers play with number nine,” he said. It’s a nice number, and I asked the permission of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I want to thank him, as well, for allowing me to wear that number.”

The number seven shirt also remains vacant at United following Memphis Depay’s move to Lyon in January. The number two shirt is expected to be taken by Lukaku’s fellow new arrival, Victor Lindelöf.