- Philippe Coutinho could take the number seven shirt vacated by Arda Turan
- Turan has left the club on a two-and-a-half-year loan deal to return to Turkey
- Brazilian Coutinho could make his league debut next weekend against Real Betis
Philippe Coutinho could take the number seven shirt at Barcelona after the club sent Arda Turan out on loan to Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir for the next two and a half seasons.
Turan wore the No.7 for two seasons at Barcelona but has moved to Turkey, with Barcelona reserving the right to sell him in any of the transfer windows during his loan spell.
Coutinho is close to returning to full fitness and could even make his debut as early as next weekend against Real Betis or three days later in the Cup against his former club Espanyol.
Philippe Coutinho could take the number seven shirt at Barcelona vacated by Arda Turan
The Brazilian could make his club debut as early as next weekend against Real Betis if he is fit
Turan fell further down the pecking order at Barcelona with the arrival of £145m Brazilian Coutinho and the Turk will be targeting a return to form in his homeland.
Famous Barcelona 7s
2010-13: David Villa
2006-10: Eidur Gudjohnsen
2004-06: Henrik Larsson
1995-2000: Luis Figo
1991-94: Pep Guardiola
He joined the club from Atletico Madrid for 34 million euros (£29 million) plus add-ons in July 2015, winning six trophies but only making 55 appearances and scoring 15 goals.
And having found himself out of manager Ernesto Valverde’s plans, Turan has been given an escape route for the remainder of his contract in Istanbul.
A Barcelona statement on Saturday read: ‘During this period Barca reserve the right to transfer the player to a club belonging to UEFA, and will receive a variable fee according to his performances.
‘Meanwhile, Istanbul Basaksehir will reserve the right to buy the player from Barcelona.’
Should Coutinho adopt the number seven jersey, he will find himself in esteemed company.
The number was donned by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola during his playing days at the Camp Nou.
Iconic Portuguese Luis Figo also made a name for himself in the shirt and it will only increase the excitement and expectation on the former Liverpool playmaker.
Turan was mobbed at the airport as he arrived in Istanbul on Saturday to complete the transfer