Barcelona summer signing Arda Turan claims Lionel Messi has offered him the No. 10 shirt at the Camp Nou - although it’s safe to assume the former Atletico Madrid star was only joking.
The Turkish international must wait until January before being assigned an official squad number by Barcelona due to the Catalan giants’ existing transfer ban.
Arda and fellow summer signing Aleix Vidal are both prohibited from playing for Barcelona until the New Year - but will train with their new teammates during that time.
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Arda explained on Friday that squad numbers don’t particularly concern him - it does for many other professional footballers - but joked that Messi has offered to give up the No. 10 for him.
"When I got into the Turkish national team, I was wearing the number 14, because my father is a fan of Cruyff, but my shirt number is not too important to me,” he was quoted as saying by Barcelona-based newspaper Sport. “I will decide in January. Messi told me: 'If you want the 10, it's yours.’”
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Messi will keep No. 10 - obviously
Arda is likely to be assigned either No. 19 or No. 32, with most of Barcelona’s other key numbers already assigned.
Messi wore No. 19 before he was assigned the No. 10 shirt in 2008, taking over from the Brazilian icon Ronaldinho. Prior to that, during his formative years at Camp Nou, he wore No. 30.
There is no chance of Messi switching numbers - the Argentina, despite the recent impact of Luis Suarez and Neymar, is still top dog at Barcelona - but that won’t concern Arda.
The 28-year-old should make a big impact for Barcelona in the second half of this season, and could have a huge role to play in both La Liga and the Champions League.
Barcelona fans: which number should Arda Turan be assigned? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!