MX23RW : Friday, April 10 20:23:07| >> :60:1816:1816:

The shirt numbers available to Philippe Coutinho should he move to Chelsea

Amid speculation linking Philippe Coutinho with a move to Chelsea, Sports Mole looks at which shirt numbers the Barcelona playmaker could inherit at Stamford Bridge.

Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho has been heavily linked with a move back to the Premier League this summer, with Chelsea among the clubs interested in his services.

The 27-year-old is currently on loan at Bayern Munich, but he has been in and out of the team at the Allianz Arena and the German champions are not expected to make his move permanent at the end of the season.

Coutinho is deemed surplus to requirements at his parent club Barcelona too, and the strongest interest in his services is understood to come from the Premier League, where he shot to prominence with Liverpool.

One option reportedly on the table is a swap deal with Barcelona which would send Kepa Arrizabalaga to Camp Nou and take Coutinho in the opposite direction.

Here, Sports Mole looks at which shirt numbers Coutinho could take if he were to move to Stamford Bridge.



Philippe Coutinho in action for Bayern Munich on October 5, 2019© Reuters

Coutinho's favoured shirt is the iconic number 10, which he wore with such distinction throughout his Liverpool career and currently possesses at Bayern Munich too.

Chelsea's number 10 is occupied by Coutinho's compatriot Willian, but the winger's own future at Stamford Bridge remains uncertain with his contract due to expire this summer and talks over an extension having stalled.

Should Willian leave the club and Coutinho arrive then it would make sense that the playmaker inherits his international teammate's jersey, although there are other options if that is not the case.

The Brazilian wore number 14 during his first half-season at Barcelona - a number which is currently up for grabs at Stamford Bridge - although the number seven shirt he wore at Barcelona last term is taken by N'Golo Kante.

Much earlier in his career Coutinho also wore numbers 23 and 29 - taken by Michy Batshuayi and Fikayo Tomori respectively as things stand - while at his first professional club Vasco da Gama he was number 30 - a shirt as yet unclaimed in West London.

Perhaps a more likely option should number 10 not be available is his favoured international number of 11. Pedro is the incumbent of that jersey, but the Spaniard has already confirmed that he will leave Chelsea when his contract expires at the end of this season.

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Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring for Brazil on November 19, 2019
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