Mancester United are likely to cut Cristiano Ronaldo loose at the end of the season as the clock seems to be ticking on his career at Old Trafford.
The Portugal international’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season and, right now, the Red Devils have no plans to trigger an extension – while Erik ten Hag also wants a new centre-forward to arrive.
So, with that being the case, who could take his famous No 7 jersey in the event of any parting of the ways?
Jadon Sancho signed for United from Borussia Dortmund back in the summer transfer window of 2021.
Yet the England international experienced a rough start to life back in England, with the 22-year-old struggling for consistency under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
Sancho is starting to come good for United now, however, and has bagged three goals already this term – with the latest coming against Sheriff on Thursday night.
The youngster thought he’d be getting the No 7 when he joined just over a year ago, only for Edinson Cavani to give it to Ronaldo instead.
Therefore, Sancho seems the likeliest next occupant of a number that means more at Old Trafford than any other club on the planet.
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United handed Antony the No 21 shirt previously worn by Cavani when he joined from Ajax back in the summer.
It’s been a steady, if unspectacular, start to life with the Red Devils for the Brazil international – who netted on his debut against Arsenal.
United are, however, planning another pursuit of Frenkie de Jong. Should the Barcelona star move to Old Trafford, the No 21 would be his preferred shirt number.
That could lead to Antony being given new digits in his second year at the club.
And the No 7 could motivate the enterprising 22-year-old into kicking on even further, especially when you consider his vast potential.
Alejandro Garnacho is potentially the hottest prospect on United’s books at present.
The Argentina international propelled them to FA Youth Cup glory at the end of last season, scoring twice in a 3-1 victory over Nottingham Forest in the final.
And, so good is Garnacho, there’s been talk of him being a wildcard selection for his country at the World Cup in Qatar later in the year.
United believe he has the potential to become one of the best players in the whole of world football.
So giving him the No 7 shirt would be a statement, one that shows they’re fully behind the 18-year-old as he looks to become a modern-day great like compatriot Lionel Messi.
This article was updated 1 month ago