In the digital media age, anything and everything will be used to wind people up in transfer silly season so when an image of a player pops up wearing the gear of a club he does not yet officially play for, people are naturally suspicious.
Photoshop has caused us all to be a bit more guarded, so when an image of Nemanja Matic in Man Utd training gear emerged on Sunday evening, before any word that a deal had been agreed or a medical had taken place, few were willing to accept it as real.
A clearer image of the supposed Matic leak. If this really is shopped, whoever did it should be applauded. pic.twitter.com/4f6JMma9xI
— Alex Shaw (@AlexShawESPN) July 30, 2017
The first question that was asked was whether it was just an image of Bastian Schweinsteiger with Matic's head imposed on it, due to the #31, but that is the new training jersey for next season, so that idea was dismissed.
Then there were suggestions that it was Matteo Darmian and the #31 was just an altered #36, but that was dismissed after a breakthrough was made...
Thanks to a mole on his arm.
— Ravi Inder (@raviutd) July 30, 2017
Welcome to football in 2017.
That's Matic, sitting in a Man Utd training kit, but nobody could allow themselves to accept it is real until we have hard evidence in the form of a very minor skin imperfection.
Man Utd fans are said to now be studying the freckles on Ivan Perisic's arms.