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﹛﹛Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes could be given his dream shirt number at Old Trafford next season, with the current holder of the shirt out of contract this summer.
﹛﹛Fernandes has played with the number 18 on his back since joining from Sporting Lisbon.
﹛﹛The Portuguese playmaker adopted the number after joining in a ㏒46.6million deal, and hasn t changed since.
﹛﹛But this summer, he could take his preferred number eight jersey, with Juan Mata on the verge of leaving.
﹛﹛The veteran Spaniard has been restricted to the role of squad player in recent years, and it s been reported that there s interest in him from abroad.
﹛﹛A return to Spain has been touted, as has a move to play in Major League Soccer.
﹛﹛Bruno Fernandes could adopt the number eight shirt next season
﹛﹛Should Manchester United keep Juan Mata at the club this summer? Give us your thoughts in the comments section.
﹛﹛United have the option to extend his contract for another year, and are believed to have given him the choice over whether to stay or go.
﹛﹛If he were to depart, he would free up the number eight shirt for Fernandes to take.
﹛﹛The Portuguese megastar is likely to take up the offer of the number eight shirt if it was presented to him.
﹛﹛It s the number he wore at both Udinese and Sporting Lisbon, but was forced to give it up when he moved to Old Trafford
﹛﹛However, he seems to have enjoyed the time wearing the number 18, as he told the club s website at the time that he chose it due to a personal connection.
﹛﹛Fernandes said at the time: “There are a lot of reasons for the no.18,” he told United s official website.
﹛﹛Juan Mata could leave this summer at the end of his contract
﹛﹛”It＊s a number I like. The last three years I have played as No.8 because it＊s the number my father had as a player and my birthday and it＊s the number I like.
﹛﹛”Number 18 is also the birthday of my wife and another reason is, when I grew up, I saw Paul Scholes playing in it and for me having this shirt and this number of an amazing player is something I will enjoy. I know I have a lot of responsibility.§
﹛﹛United are still making plans for the summer transfer window, and fans could see a drastically different side when the new season opens.
﹛﹛Mata is one of the players whose future is still up in the air, with his name absent from the list of players released by the club.
﹛﹛The Red Devils released Joel Pereira and Sergio Romero from their first-team, as well as a host of young players.
﹛﹛But the club confirmed they re still in talks with Mata over a new contract, as well as Lee Grant, who is expected to remain as an emergency goalkeeper choice.