Manchester United are rationing the shirts of its players this season, according to reports rife in the English media.

The reports say that the rich club moved to ban players from swapping shirts with opponents or gifting it to fans, and others, after a game. The move is reported is one that would save the management cash.

Old Trafford splashed as much as £150 million this summer to land top stars, but they would not be spared from the new regulations. Swede international Zlatan Ibrahimovic, French superstar Paul Pogba, and United and England skipper Wayne Rooney are believed to be suffering a similar fate as the rest of the squad.

The move is a surprising one, if true – as we await official confirmation, because Man United is reported to be worth over £2 billion. Someone in the know told news outlet, The Sun: “They are asked not to swap shirts so they don’t have to be replaced,” he claimed. “It seems daft given how much the club is worth,” he added.

Man United signed an agreement worth £750 million set to last ten years with top sportswear company Adidas in 2014. Players are reported to have received a shirt ration this term – two short sleeves and two long sleeves. There were reports that United were told not to swap shirts with their FA Cup opponents last season when they played Cambridge United. Moving ahead with that motive this year in order to save cash just seems outrageous given their status in world football. If the players all swapped shirts, it would cost less than £700.

Man United are set to play the City derby against city after they return from the international break. The much anticipated game would prove the first test of the new law at Old Trafford.