Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, as the France international was unveiled to the Old Trafford faithful on Saturday before the 5-1 victory over Leeds United.
Varane was unveiled with the No. 19 jersey which was worn by Amad Diallo last season. But reports have it that he had tried to get his regular No. 4 shirt.
Jones, 29, is the current occupant of the No. 4 jersey and has held the shirt for a decade since joining the club from Blackburn Rovers.
MEN have claimed that Phil Jones declined swapping jersey numbers for Varane, and will continue to wear the No. 4 for Manchester United this season.
Coincidentally, Varane and Jones have had parallel links before now. Sir Alex Ferguson was close to moving for Varane when he was a Lens player, a decade ago. A teenage Varane was eventually snapped up by Real Madrid, and Fergie went after Jones instead. Fergie backed Jones to become one of Manchester United’s greatest ever defenders, but injuries have curtailed his career since that time.
And now, ten years on, Jones is said to have refused to part ways with his number for Varane who’s a year younger than him. The former England international has two years remaining on his United contract and has not played for the club since January 2020.
With Jones set to stay at the club this season, he finds himself fifth in the Red Devils’ centre-back pecking order.