DIOGO JOTA couldn’t face signing for Manchester United – because Bruno Fernandes has nabbed the No18 shirt.
The former Sporting CP playmaker has made a big impact on the Red Devils since arriving in January but Wolves ace Jota feels he could not possibly join him when his favoured number is not available.
Throughout his club career, bar a loan spell at Porto where he jumped up to No19, Jota has always had 18 on his back.
Contrastingly, United newboy Fernandes had never donned the number until his move to Old Trafford – previously favouring the No8 jersey.
And Jota told Portuguese newspaper Record that there are certain boundaries he cannot bear to cross if he is to leave Wolves.
He stated: “No, to begin with, I am No18 and now Bruno Fernandes is also No18, so we would soon have a problem.
“Just kidding! It is always good to see your name linked to clubs and with a club of that stature.
“But I also know that this is not the most important thing. Just look at what is happening now with this pandemic.”
Jota, 23, has become a Wolves stalwart since joining on an initial loan deal from Atletico Madrid three years ago.
With 25 goals across all competitions since his side were promoted to the Premier League in 2018, the attacker has become the subject of rumours about a departure.
Fernandes could even decide to jump down to one of his club’s other major shirt slots currently open, including No7, No11 and No12, to clear the way for Jota.
And the Portuguese international feels his Selecao colleague is the “most ambitious” player in the Red Devils ranks.
Jota continued: “I don’t know if he is the best [player at United] but he’s the most ambitious. And that makes a difference.
“You can clearly see the difference between United with and without Bruno Fernandes. He takes on the responsibility and aspires for more than what they are doing.
“I think they owe him a lot already. And that is not only related to his quality, but also to his ambition and personality.”