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It was looking unlikely over the weekend but now the path is clearing for Cristiano Ronaldo to wear the famous number 7 shirt at Manchester United once again.
The 36 year old looked set to wear a different shirt number this season after striker Edison Cavani came off the bench during United's 1-0 win at Wolves on Sunday.
But following Dan James' imminent departure to Leeds United, Cavani would be able to take James' number 21, leaving Ronaldo with his famous, favourite number 7 again.
The swap does need to be ratified by the Premier League, as squad numbers for the campaign have already been submitted. That said, there is a history of players swapping numbers before the summer transfer window shuts.
If Dan James sold, there's precedent for Cristiano Ronaldo to get Man United's 7.
Van der Vaart (10) sold
Adebayor moves 25 to 10
New signing Lloris gets 25
James (21) sold
Cavani moves 7 to 21
New signing Ronaldo gets 7
Expect PL would approve it. #mufc
- Dale Johnson (@DaleJohnsonESPN) August 31, 2021
In the 2012/2013 season, Tottenham's Rafael van der Vaart returned to Hamburg after two seasons at White Hart Lane. This saw the Dutchman give his number 10 shirt to striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who in turn offloaded the number 25 to new signing Hugo Lloris, who held the jersey for his first two years in North London.
There was talk that Ronaldo may follow in the footsteps of former United player Wes Brown and wear two shirt numbers this season, in the Premier and Champions League respectively.
But with James set to move to Elland Road at some point today, it feels highly likely that the Portuguese superstar will re-join the likes of David Beckham and George Best in United's 'No. 7' club this season.
James, 23, has been admired by Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa for several years, with the Argentinian close to signing the winger on loan in January 2019.
During his time at Old Trafford, James scored six goals, including one against The Whites at Old Trafford back in December 2020. The transfer is expected to be in the region of £24 million.
Meanwhile United have confirmed the €23 million signing of Ronaldo this morning after he passed his medical in Lisbon yesterday afternoon.
Fans of The Red Devils and CR7 will hope he'll have the squad number to match too.