Manuel Ugarte may be blocked from dream Man Utd number as Erik ten Hag ‘enters talks'

Manuel Ugarte has plenty of admirers (Image: Getty Images)

Manuel Ugarte may have to settle for a shirt number that is not his favoured No.4 if he opts to join Manchester United.

According to reports, Erik ten Hag’s side have been given the green light by the Uruguayan and his club Paris-Saint Germain to sign him this summer. He would be a welcome boost for the Red Devils, as Casemiro has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia, while it’s not confirmed yet whether Sofyan Amrabat will join the club permanently.

Amrabat arrived from Fiorentina for an initial £8.5million loan fee last summer. But there is understood to be a £21.5m option to buy the experienced Moroccan, who had a mixed season at Old Trafford last year. After a standout performance in the FA Cup final victory over rivals Manchester City, United may yet offer him a permanent deal, reports the Mirror. If the club do opt to sign him permanently, Ugarte may not be given his favourite number.

At present, Amrabat wears the No.4 for United, the same number Ugarte currently wears for the French giants. According to Fabrizio Romano, Ugarte’s representatives and PSG have told United they can sign him should they choose to do so.

Ten Hag, who is expected to sign a new multi-year contract to remain as United manager, is also expected to soon discuss the possibility of purchasing Amrabat and enter talks with incoming sporting director Dan Ashworth, technical director Jason Wilcox and chief executive Omar Berrada – which could ultimately see the manager stand in Ugarte’s way of getting his preferred number.

Amrabat is still featured in the first-team players section on United’s website and was also included in the promotion for their new jersey. If the Moroccan remains, Ugarte will need to select a different number from his current No.4 shirt at PSG.

However, this may not pose much of an issue, considering it hasn’t exactly brought him luck in Paris. Ugarte joined PSG last year in a £51m deal but is now anticipated to depart after failing to win over Luis Enrique.

Sofyan Amrabat is Man Utd’s current No.4 (Image: Getty Images)

Interestingly, Ugarte has sported various shirt numbers throughout his career, including 20, 8, 15 and 14, and currently dons No.5 for Uruguay. On the other hand, United have had a run of bad luck with their past No.4s.

Before Amrabat, the jersey was worn by Phil Jones, Owen Hargreaves, Juan Sebastien Veron and David May – although at least Gabriel Heinze can be considered a proper success.

Midfield was one of United’s biggest weaknesses last season, particularly when it came to their work off the ball. While Kobbie Mainoo proved to be a revelation, the likes of Casemiro, Amrabat and Scott McTominay more often than not flattered to deceive – the latter was even deployed in a more attacking fashion due to his knack of scoring important goals at the other end.