Flanked by legendary players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Sir Bobby Charlton, Manchester United’s latest expensive signing took to the pitch yesterday – but it wasn’t a player.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Sir Bobby Charlton

For once, talk on the Old Trafford terraces revolved around a very special signed copy of the United Opus, occupying centre stage on the hallowed turf.

The players stood alongside the first sample version of the book to give it the ultimate seal of approval. The first Opus off the press will be presented in a silk presentation box and signed by many of the Club’s greatest talents from the last 50 years, it is expected to sell, at the launch event in the autumn, for well over £250,000 with all proceeds being donated to United’s key charity UNICEF when it goes on sale in October this year, as a limited edition of 10,000 copies.

Weighing over 35 kilograms and measuring half a metre square, the Opus represents the ultimate testament to the club on a truly mammoth scale with over 800 pages of exclusive interviews and images, some of which have never been published before.

Each of the 10,000 copies will be individually numbered and signed by both Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton, the latter clearly delighted with the Opus’s reception. ‘It’s an absolutely fantastic project and one that I’m very flattered to be involved with,’ explained the United legend. ‘It is going to be something very special and I’m sure United fans all over the world will be amazed by it.’

Solskjaer echoed Sir Bobby’s sentiments, adding: ‘It’s been great to get involved and I’ve already put my name down for a copy!’