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FC Barcelona prefers not to give the #10 shirt to anyone - report

This contradicts news that Coutinho was offered the shirt

FC Barcelona v Juventus - Joan Gamper Trophy Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

FC Barcelona will try to keep the #10 shirt open for the next season, according to new rumors which contradict news that Philippe Coutinho was offered the shirt.

The Brazilian has worn #14 to this point, but Rey Manaj wore it in Barcelona’s first match of the season, fueling speculation. However, until the transfer window closes, shirt numbers are not permanent.

Reports in the media said that Coutinho would wear the famed #10, which had in the past been worn by the likes of Romario, Ronaldinho, Diego Maradona, Rivaldo and of course, Lionel Messi.

The latest news says that Barcelona would rather no one wear the shirt for the upcoming season. La Liga regulations do not permit a club to retire a number, but teams can choose not to give it to any player - but only under certain circumstances.

First team players must wear a number 1-25, meaning the only way to keep a number between 1 and 25 open is to have less than 25 first team players. At the moment, Barcelona has 25 first team players, meaning some player must wear #10. Of course, with the transfer window open, a player could still leave.

Barcelona are said to prefer giving the #10 shirt to a youth player registered as a first teamer, rather than a veteran player such as Coutinho.