By Manchester correspondent Alex Stevens
Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Wayne Rooney are three of the top six selling shirt names in the world, it emerged today.
Depay is third only to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, while Schweinsteiger and Rooney are placed at fourth and sixth respectively.
These are according to figures from retailers Kitbag, which were relayed by Ed Woodward, the Manchester United executive vice-chairman, during a conference call today.
Woodward revealed that German midfielder Schweinsteiger had climbed 27 places from 31st to fourth on the list of the most popular player names requested by fans following his summer move to United from Bayern Munich.
“Kitbag recently released the ranking of top selling shirts from July to September and we think the results are worth sharing,” he explained.
“Memphis Depay is a new entrant and was the 3rd highest selling shirt in the world after Messi and Ronaldo.
“Three out of the top-10 selling shirts are Manchester United players including Bastian Schweinsteiger and Wayne Rooney.
“Last year, at Bayern Munich, Schweinsteiger ranked at number 31 and has now moved up to fourth position.”
Woodward also suggested that such a boost in presence would be beneficial when trying to attract top names to Old Trafford.
“We believe the impact on player profiles around the world by joining Manchester United is very powerful,” the director told investors. “Clearly the shirt sale figures are strong evidence of that.”
Depay, a £25m signing from PSV Eindhoven, is a surprising name on the top-10 list.
He has had a difficult start to his United career and has been axed from the Holland squad that takes on Wales in tomorrow’s friendly.
Woodward’s comments come as United announced record first quarter revenues of £123.6m – up 39.3 per cent on the £88.7m from the same period last year.
That is down largely to their new, £750million, 10-year kit deal with adidas and return to the Champions League.
‘Adidas mentioned that teaming up with the club has yielded unprecedented success,’ Woodward added. ‘They have experienced phenomenal demand across the globe.’