In evidence that Manchester United's commercial tie-ins know no bounds, several of the club's mascots were painted blue ahead of the Premier League clash with Bournemouth as part of a deal to promote the upcoming film X-Men: Apocalypse.

Ahead of United's final Premier League game of the season, which had to be rescheduled after a bomb scare saw Sunday's fixture abandoned, each of the 11 mascots carried the names of X-Men characters on the back of their shirts.

Not content to leave the promotional stunt there, four of the youngsters, who are part of the Manchester United foundation, were completely transformed after being selected by Aon for this special role.

Seven-year-old twins Hollie and Max wee daubed in blue to represent Mystique and Beast, while Christiano was given a makeover to get into character of Nightcrawler.


Daniel took on the role of Cyclops, wearing specially-designed glasses, while the other characters represented on the pitch were Professor X, Psyclocke, Quicksilver, Angel, Jean Grey, Storm and Magneto.

United are renowned for their ever-increasing list of sponsors - with partnerships ranging from vitamins to diesel enginesm - although this latest shameless promotion drew criticism from fans on social media.

Meanwhile, Louis van Gaal selected a strong side in his bid to win the final game of the season - where a point would guarantee moving above Southampton to finish fifth and guarantee Europa League football next season.

According to Sky Sports, former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been promised the manager's role at Old Trafford should Van Gaal be sacked in the summer.