Manchester United wingers Jadon Sancho and Antony are reportedly battling it out for the number seven shirt once club legend Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Old Trafford.
Ronaldo’s future at Manchester United came under threat as soon as Erik ten Hag was appointed manager. The Dutchman typically uses a pressing style to defend from the front, something Ronaldo is not known for doing.
Throughout the summer, Ten Hag insisted Ronaldo was in his plans and that the striker would not be sold.
Unconvinced by the manager’s comments, though, Ronaldo’s camp offered him to some of Europe’s biggest clubs anyway. These included Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.
Despite being given the opportunity to sign one of the best players ever, these teams pushed back the proposal. It seems they want to invest in younger forwards rather than spending a huge amount on Ronaldo’s wages.
The former Real Madrid star remained at Old Trafford past the transfer deadline. Most Manchester United fans will be delighted about this, although it doesn’t look like it will be the best season for the 37-year-old.
He has had to spend more time on the bench than he would like as Ten Hag has preferred to go with Marcus Rashford at centre-forward. Due to this, Ronaldo has found the net just once in eight appearances this term.
He will undoubtedly improve on this number after the international break. But it seems Ten Hag doesn’t really want to deal with the Ronaldo conundrum for much longer, setting up his transfer away from United in 2023.
Napoli are potential suitors for the Portuguese. They may struggle to afford his transfer fee and wages, though a deal could reach completion if Victor Osimhen goes in the other direction.
Amid all the talk regarding Ronaldo’s future, a report has provided an insight on who could wear the legendary number seven shirt once Ronaldo moves on.
Jadon Sancho and team-mate both want Ronaldo shirt
According to the Manchester Evening News, there is a battle going on between Sancho and Antony for the jersey.
They are two of the brightest players at the club right now. And they both have huge potential, which is why they could be in line to wear the number seven.
United spent big money on Sancho in 2021 following a few brilliant seasons with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga. He has had a troublesome start at United but is now back on the right path.
Antony, meanwhile, left Ajax in August to reunite with Ten Hag. The transfer was worth £86m, making Antony one of the most expensive players in Premier League history.
Both stars are extremely skilful and can get fans off their seats by dribbling past players or finding the net from range.
They both admire Ronaldo and will want to have a similar impact to him at Old Trafford.
Sancho might lose out on jersey
Antony is probably more likely to wear the number seven than Sancho. The Brazilian is the new expensive arrival, having eclipsed Sancho’s transfer 13 months on.
He doesn’t have the baggage of an underwhelming debut campaign at United like Sancho. Plus, Antony scored on his debut against Arsenal, which could set him up for a successful first season in England.
This is certainly one to keep an eye on when Ronaldo leaves United. Of course, there are more important things in football than a shirt number.
But United’s number seven is one of the most famous shirts in history. George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Ronaldo have all worn it in the past.
United supporters will just be hoping Sancho or Antony can be more like those stars than Memphis Depay or Angel Di Maria.
Meanwhile, we’ve taken a look at United’s top 10 biggest mistakes in the transfer market, which includes Paul Pogba and Jaap Stam.