Raphael Varane’s transfer to Manchester United is expected to be completed and the defender unveiled this Wednesday.
After a wait for a visa and then time spent in quarantine, Varane is ready to begin his career as a United player.
United had earlier confirmed an agreement to sign Varane from Real Madrid at the end of July. It has taken longer than ideal to complete the deal, but we are finally here now.
What will Raphael Varane’s squad number be?
The lowest available squad number is currently 12, vacated by Chris Smalling last summer.
However, it would be preferable among United fans if Varane was given the semi-vacant number 4 shirt. Varane wears the number 4 for France, including during his 2018 World Cup win.
Presently the shirt is assigned to Phil Jones. The defender has not played for United since January 2020.
Even though Jones has returned to training with United, he did not make the matchday squad for the recent friendly.
Jones appears to have little future at United, and even if he is kept on, he could quite easily be moved to 12 and step aside to free up 4 for Varane, who will be a weekly starter.
Have United dropped a hint Varane could get number 4?
Over the past few week, Manchester United have been doing a countdown of the number of days before the season kicks off, using player’s squad numbers as art.
With six days to go, Paul Pogba’s shirt number featured. With five days to go, Harry Maguire was featured.
On Tuesday, there were four days remaining. And no post went up from any of Manchester United’s social media accounts.
Surely if Phil Jones was going to remain as number four, United would have backed him, with a Jones 4 image on August 10.
Even though Jones is not the most popular player, a lot of United fans have sympathy with him for his injuries and the stick he has taken through the years.
United want to find a club for Jones where he can play regularly if fit, likely out on loan. So it makes sense to give his shirt number to Varane.
It would have been perfect for United if Varane had completed his medical yesterday and his shirt number could have been unveiled with the image.
There are now three days to go before the season kicks off. And this could also be the day Varane gets his number 4 shirt.
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