Bayern Munich chairman, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has claimed Arjen Robben gave the club his blessing, to give new signing Philippe Coutinho his old number.
Coutinho completed a loan move to the German champions from Barcelona
on Monday and was presented with the No.10 shirt, which was previously
worn by the Dutch winger during his time at the Allianz Arena.
During the Brazilian's unveiling, Rummenigge revealed that the club
wanted to avoid handing out the No.10 and No.7 jerseys as a mark of
respect for Robben and Franck Ribery, who both left the Bundesliga club
But the Bayern chairman said that his mind was changed after
consulting Robben, who was happy to allow Coutinho to wear the number.
"We planned to not award the No.10 and No.7 this year as a gesture for Robben and (Franck) Ribery'.
"We had a conversation with Robben and we wanted to give Philippe his
number as a token of appreciation, and Hasan (Salihamidzic, Bayern's
sporting director) showed him the jersey at the first meeting.
"Arjen had no problems with that, he said Philippe was a worthy
successor," Rummenigge was quoted as saying by the club's website .
On his new number and new team, Coutinho added: "The jersey of FC Bayern and the No.10 is a big responsibility.
"It belonged to Robben, he was a great reference in football. I hope
to be able to confirm expectations with good football on the pitch."