Philippe Coutinho to Wear Number 14 Shirt at Barcelona as Bosses Save Number 7 for Griezmann

?Philippe Coutinho has been handed the number 14 shirt at Barcelona, with club bosses allegedly reserving the number 7 jersey for the potential arrival of Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann.

The Brazilian midfielder, signed by ?Barca for an eye watering £142m fee, takes over the number previously worn by long serving Javier Mascherano, who is expected to leave for China in the coming days.

According to ?Fox Argentina though, he has not been handed the jersey vacated by Arda Turan’s departure due to the prospect of signing Antoine Griezmann. 

The French striker will remain at Atletico until the end of the season, but is expected to be the subject of a transfer battle between Barca and ?Manchester United in the summer. 

The 26-year old’s release clause, currently set at €200m, will drop to the original figure of €100m in the summer, a move that is likely to spark a huge amount of interest among Europe’s top tier clubs.

Espanyol v Atletico Madrid - La Liga

Barca bosses have decided to give Coutinho the number 14 shirt instead, despite the fact that Mascherano has not yet left the club. The Argentine midfielder has spent eight seasons at the club after also moving from ?Anfield, making 334 appearances in all competitions for the Catalans.

Coutinho meanwhile is yet to make his debut at the Nou Camp after arriving at the club with a minor thigh injury. The 25-year old became the most expensive signing in Barca’s history after his move, eclipsing the £97m fee spent earlier in the season on winger Ousmane Dembele.