Romelu Lukaku to wear No. 9 shirt at United with Ibrahimovic's permission
Romelu Lukaku has told ESPN FC he asked Zlatan Ibrahimovic's permission before requesting to wear Manchester United's No. 9 shirt next season.
He wore No. 10 at Goodison Park, where he scored 71 goals in 133 games after signing permanently from Chelsea in 2014. The Belgium international will take No. 9 at United -- but only after Ibrahimovic, who will undergo his rehabilitation from a knee injury at Carrington despite not having a contract, said he could.
Lukaku said: "I always asked my mother what number, and I used to play with the 10 because my mother's birthday is on Oct. 10, so it's the 10th month of the year.
"That's why I played with No. 10. I asked for the number nine because I'm a striker.
"Strikers play with No. 9. It's a nice number, and I asked the permission of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I want to thank him, as well, for allowing me to wear that number."
Lukaku will follow Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial, Radamel Falcao, Dimitar Berbatov, Louis Saha, Andy Cole and Brian McClair in wearing United's No. 9 shirt in the Premier League.
Fellow new signing Victor Lindelof is expected to take No. 2.
After Memphis Depay's departure to Lyon in January and Wayne Rooney's move to Everton, the No. 7 and No. 10 shirts are both vacant.
Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.