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Fernandes wore the number eight for three seasons at Sporting CP but had to take 18 at United when he arrived in 2020.
Mata joined United from Chelsea in 2014 and was their record signing at the time, taking the number eight from Anderson who moved to Fiorentina on loan.
In a recent Twitter Q&A, Fernandes stressed he doesn't want Mata to leave the club but has his eye on the number eight.
He replied to a fan asking him to wear eight: "I hope to get it one day... but for now I hope to have my brother @juanmata8 close to me."
Mata's deal is up in the summer and he's become a bit-part player at Old Trafford in recent years.
The 33-year-old has played five games all season, but not a single minute in the Premier League.
He's likely to leave when his contract expires after spending eight years in Manchester.
Fernandes' Q&A came hours after he committed his long-term future to United.
The Portugal international extended his contract until 2026 with an option for a further year while also receiving a massive pay-rise.
It means Fernandes will now be one of the club's top earners on £250,000-per-week compared to his previous wage of £120,000-per-week.
Fernandes has been United's best players since moving to England and one of the best in the entire league.
Only Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah have been involved in more goals in the last two years.
United have had a tricky season and they may not qualify for next season's Champions League.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in November and the following month saw Ralf Rangnick hired on an interim basis until the end of the season.
He's failed to stop the decline however and United look far away from challenging for the title, despite finishing second last campaign.
The hunt for a permanent manager continues with the two main candidates being Ajax's Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino.
A decision isn't thought to be imminent but United have made advances in the international break.
Who do you think Manchester United will hire as their next manager?
Let us know in the comments.
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