It has been reported that Spanish giants Barcelona have made a final decision on what they will do with Lionel Messi's former No. 10 jersey at the Catalan club.
Earlier this week, it was claimed that Brazil international Philippe Coutinho would be handed the No. 10 shirt at the Blaugrana following Messi's departure two weeks ago.
The news appeared to surprise many, given the weight and importance of the jersey and that the former Liverpool player has largely struggled for form since joining Barcelona in January 2018.
Last season, Coutinho featured only 14 times across all competitions under Ronald Koeman, and also suffered a knee injury in December 2020 that kept him out for the second half of the campaign.
The 29-year-old has worn No. 14 at the Spanish giants from day one, but that jersey number was taken by promoted "B" team striker Rey Manaj in the team's first LaLiga match of this campaign, a 4-2 victory over Real Sociedad.
This naturally fuelled speculation that Coutinho would take the vacant No. 10 shirt, with LaLiga's regulations said to prevent clubs from being able to retire a jersey number, which many have suggested Barcelona should do for the No. 10.
According to Sport, however, the Catalan giants will try to keep Messi's former number open for the foreseeable future, with the report stating that all 25 squad numbers must be taken unless less than 25 players are registered.
Currently, Koeman has all spots in his side taken, although Barca are said to be aiming to sell more players before the end of this transfer window.
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