The Portuguese superstar rubber stamped his astonishing return to Manchester United by agreeing a two year deal at Old Trafford on Deadline Day.
Despite strong links to United’s rivals Manchester City last Friday, the legendary forward has linked up with former team mate, and current Manchester United boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following a three year stint with Italian giants Juventus.
The 36-year-old – who is expected to make his second debut for the club against Newcastle United on September 11 – confirmed the move via his official Instagram page, writing: “I can’t even start to explain my feelings right now, as I see my return to Old Trafford announced worldwide.
"It’s like a dream come true, after all the times that I went back to play against Man United, and even as an opponent, to have always felt such love and respect from the supporters in the stands. This is absolutely 100 per cent the stuff that dreams are made of" before signing off the message with a nod to the manager who brought him to the club 2003, Sir Alex Ferguson.
"Sir Alex, this one is for you” he wrote.
However, as football fans rush to buy the latest Red Devil’s jersey emblazoned with the megastar’s name on the back, one question remained: What number would Cristiano wear, with the number 7 shirt handed to Edinson Cavani in the summer?
Known worldwide as simply ‘CR7’, the striker has worn the number exclusively throughout his career, wearing the squad number at Sporting Lisbon, United, Real Madrid and, most recently, Juventus.
Who currently wears number 7 for Manchester United?
Cristiano’s iconic number 7 was worn by Uruguay international Edinson Cavani, who moved to Old Trafford on a free transfer from Paris St-Germain last summer, as recently as last weekend.
The 34-year-old himself has been linked with a move away from the club on Deadline Day, with Barcelona believed to be testing United’s resolve to hold on to the star. However, as reported by TEAMTalk, any move for the striker was turned down, with Cavani remaining a vitally important member of Solskjaer’s squad.
So, will Ronaldo wear number 7 at Manchester United?
After a week of speculation, Manchester United teased fans last night via their official Twitter page, before an official revealing via their Twitter page.
Earlier in the week, the biggest clue came in the shape of the Premier League official website, which listed the Portugal captain as a Manchester United forward with the shirt number 7.
This was backed up by The Sunday World’s Kevin Palmer, who reported that Ronaldo was set to get the number 7 shirt after all.
It was then claimed the Premier League giants had started the process by contacting the Premier League to request the shirt number change, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Contrary to those reports, however, well respected Manchester based journalist Jonathan Shrager tweeted Cavani would NOT be giving up his number 7 shirt. While Sky Sports News presenter Dharmesh Sheth shot down the suggestions of a shirt switch by giving more context to notion they could apply for special dispensation.
"United would need to come up with a really good reason why Cristiano Ronaldo should have that number 7 shirt," he said on the Sky Sports Transfer Show.
"As it stands, you'd have to say that unless Edinson Cavani leaves Man United in the coming days, which we're not expecting to happen, then Cristiano Ronaldo is unlikely to be wearing the number 7 after returning."
Premier League rules state the Uruguayan striker must keep his assigned shirt number until the end of the campaign, with rule m.5 stating a player will only be allowed to take another’s squad number if the player leaves the club.
However, Daniel James Deadline Day move to Leeds United has since freed up the number 21 jersey – Cavani’s own iconic number with which he dons for his national side – and last night it was revealed that for the first time in Premier League history, Edinson Cavani would revert to the number 21 shirt, allowing Cristiano Ronaldo to reclaim his famous number 7 jersey, to the delight of Red Devil’s fans.
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