By Keith Hackett

6th Sep, 2021 | 6:00pm

Cavani may have been paid off at Man United as Premier League bend rules for transfer - pundit

Edinson Cavani may have been paid off to hand his Man United number seven shirt to new signing Cristiano Ronaldo.

So says ex-Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after United confirmed the number rejig on 2 September.

Premier League rules state that players should not be allowed to change shirts after the club has confirmed their squad numbers.

But the league granted special dispensation for Ronaldo, whose personal brand centres around the number, to claim his new teammate’s shirt.

Uruguayan superstar Cavani will now wear the number 21 recently vacated by Daniel James following his departure to Leeds United.

And Hackett claims that Cavani may have been financially rewarded for his gesture.

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He told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitely: “I’m not surprised, on the basis of Ronaldo’s history at Man United.

“The commercial opportunities are not gonna be overlooked. If you’re the chief executive, you’re going to give him that shirt.

“Ultimately, they are thinking of how much money they are going to get back in shirt sales. They have already broken the record for shirt sales.

I would be asking for money, and I think there will have been a discussion with Cavani.

If the agent of that player is a bit sharp, he might have been asking what the financial recompense is for that change.

“I think what we have got to understand that football is operating in a commercial environment.

In other news, pundit baffled by Leeds transfer decision after Man United reveal via BBC.