Football News: Frenkie de Jong's rejected shirt number

Updated: Jul 19

Frenkie de Jong's rejected shirt number as Barcelona star nears Man Utd transfer


MANCHESTER UNITED are continuing to press ahead with plans to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona.


By JACK OTWAY

06:10, Fri, Jul 15, 2022 | UPDATED: 08:51, Fri, Jul 15, 2022


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Frenkie de Jong is looking increasingly likely to join Manchester United this summer. And, if he moves to Old Trafford, then it’s unlikely he’d take the No 14 shirt. At least, if history is anything to go by…


There are a variety of different shirt numbers available to new signings at United this summer.


The No 6 is free for targets following the departure of Paul Pogba, while there’s a possibility Mason Greenwood’s No 11 jersey will be given to someone else.


Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic’s old 14 and 31 jerseys are free, as well as the No 13 last worn by Lee Grant.


And the No 21, De Jong’s favourite jersey, is free to take as well.


However, out of all the current options, it’s feasible the Netherlands international won’t be taking the No 14.


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Man Utd transfer news: Frenkie de Jong is primed to join from Barcelona (Image: GETTY)

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When he moved to Barcelona in 2019, the midfielder was offered the chance to wear the jersey previously worn by club icon Johan Cruff.


But he would later turn it down, insisting he didn’t want comparisons to be made between the two.


"I don't think it's very wise to take the number 14 shirt,” he said three years ago.


“I don't want to be compared with Johan Cruyff, that's too much."


It is, therefore, far likelier that De Jong will take the No 21 jersey if and when his move to Old Trafford goes through.


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Man Utd transfer news: A fee of £63m has been agreed with Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong (Image: GETTY)

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The No 14, as a Dutch player, would bring added pressure and expectations that he doesn’t need.


De Jong previously explained the significance of the No 21 to him, insisting he wears it as a tribute to his late grandfather.


"I feel comfortable with that number," stated the midfielder.


"I could easily play with another number, you know, it's not a problem, but it is nice that it also gives people a way of recognising me.


"I brought my whole family to my presentation in Barcelona, except my grandfather Hans de Jong, my father's father.


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Man Utd transfer news: Frenkie de Jong rejected No 14 shirt at Barcelona due to Johan Cruyff (Image: GETTY)

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“He died on the day of my 21st birthday. Unconsciously it is also a kind of tribute.


“He was a huge football fan."


Meanwhile, there’s already been one shirt number change at United since the Erik ten Hag era started.


Bruno Fernandes had wanted the No 8 when he joined from Sporting Lisbon and, after Juan Mata’s departure, he’s now got his wish.


And he explained his decision to get rid of the No 18 by saying: “That shirt means a lot [to me].


Man Utd fixtures: When Erik ten Hag’s team face every Premier League team


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Man Utd transfer news: Frenkie de Jong can take No 21 short last worn by Edinson Cavani (Image: GETTY)

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“There is a history behind that [number] because my father, when he used to be a player, he was playing with a number eight.


“He quit from football because he had an offer from work, and obviously at that time for me and my brothers and for all the family it was better that he had proper work than [to] keep playing football.”


 

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Date: 15/7/2022

Location: Malaysia

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