The Manchester United shirt numbers available to new signings in the January transfer window

Manchester United could bolster their ranks in next month’s transfer window - but what shirt numbers could new signings wear?

<p>Which shirt numbers are taken and which are available at Manchester United? Credit: Getty images/AFP</p>

Which shirt numbers are taken and which are available at Manchester United? Credit: Getty images/AFP

Manchester United may add to their squad next month, with interim manager Ralf Rangnick facing his first transfer window as boss.

Squad depth is important for United given they are competing in not just the Premier League, but the Champions League and FA Cup in the new year as well.

If Rangnick opts to dip his toe into the transfer market, then new faces will need to be assigned a shirt number.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at which numbers are available for any new signing the Red Devils make next month.

Which shirts are available?

Rangnick has deployed his favoured 4-2-2-2 formation since taking the helm in late November. This, alongside his pressing style of play means the club will need to recruit the right sort of player in order to achieve this.

Fred and Scott McTominay are the main pairing in the centre of midfield, but with Nemanja Matic now 33, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba’s futures at Old Trafford in doubt and Juan Mata a target for Barcelona, this position is arguably the most important to strengthen.

Several numbers are available for any potential signings, including 12 and 15 - the latter was assigned to Andreas Pereira last season, but with the Brazilian on loan to Flamengo and unlikely to force his way back into the squad, it could be picked up by a new face.

Andreas Pereira’s old shirt number is available Credit: Getty

Other options for new additions below number 40 are; 24, 30, 32 and 35.

28, 33, 37 and 38 are owned by Facundo Pellistri, Brandon Williams, James Garner and Axel Tuanzebe respectively, all of whom are on loan at other clubs but likely to return in the summer.

One name synonymous with the first is ex-United player and current technical director Darren Fletcher, who donned the number 24 shirt from 2003 to 2015, before leaving to join West Bromwich Albion.

If, like some players in Europe’s other top leagues, a new signing wants a higher squad number than 40, then that, as well as 41, 42, 45, 48, 49 and 50 are all options.

Which might become available?

Furthermore, with rumours of Pogba, Mata, Anthony Martial, Lingard, Edinson Cavani and Dean Henderson all potentially leaving the Red Devils in January, numbers 6, 8, 9, 14, 21 and 26 could all become available.

Rangnick might be reluctant to let several of the above-mentioned players go next month, however, cashing in on Pogba, Mata, Lingard and Cavani could be the best option given their contracts expire in the summer.

In addition, Martial’s agent has stated the Frenchman wants to leave United in January due to his lack of game-time this season.