The club have this week announced that Andreas Pereira won’t wear the No.44, the one he's previously been allocated, this season. Instead, the Belgian midfielder will take the No.15.

And, in what could be a crucial clue, 44 is the number that Croat international Perisic wears at Inter.

May this be the hint they are keeping the door open to him joining? Or even trying to lure him over with the promise of his preferred number?

Or is it merely a chance for Pereira, who has featured in pre-season and who won’t be sent out on loan, to move up the pecking order?

Either way, Perisic has been United’s top target all summer but executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward hasn’t been able to get a deal over the line.