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Romelu Lukaku finally reveals what he said to Zlatan Ibrahimovic before taking No. 9 shirt at Man United

Mirror logo Mirror 13/09/2017 Jake Polden
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Romelu Lukaku has finally revealed the conversation he had with Zlatan Ibrahimovic before taking his number 9 shirt at Manchester United.

It was widely reported at the time the Belgium international completed a £75million move to Old Trafford that he had asked the big Swede's permission, before it was then announced that he would take his shirt number.

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Ibrahimovic was United's number 9 last season, but his contract had expired when Lukaku had signed, and his injury cast doubts over his future at the club.

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Jose Mourinho later offered Ibrahimovic a new contract and he subsequently took the vacant number 10 shirt in place of the 9, now worn by Lukaku.

But the conversation between the pair was never made public until the Belgian, who has netted six times for United so far this season, opened up about the pre-season chat, and even admitted that he was a little worried about having to ask for permission.

"Yeah I did [call him about his shirt number] I didn't want to tell him I wanted the number 9," explained the former Everton forward.

"But I called Zlatan and asked him and he said that I could take the number 9 and he would take the number 10.

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"But I said to him I'm looking forward to you coming back because I know that you don't want to stop like this."

Ibrahimovic has yet to return for Manchester United this year, but netted 17 times for them as they finished sixth in the Premier League last season.

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Mourinho knew he had to replace the 35-year-old ahead of the new campaign, given the fact United were so reliant on his goals.

And it seems achieved exactly this by signing Lukaku, who is currently the most prolific striker in the English top flight.

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