Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says Arjen Robben gave the club his blessing to give new signing Philippe Coutinho his old number.
Coutinho, 27, 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 this summer.
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'” Rummenigge was quoted as saying by the club’s website .
“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.”
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.”
Coutinho passed a medical with Bayern on Sunday before penning a one-year loan deal with the club on Monday, which includes an option to buy at the end of the season
Although the Bundesliga club did not reveal the details of the agreement, Barcelona claimed that Germans will pay a £7.8million (8.5m euros) loan fee and the player’s wages, and that the permanent option is set at a fee of £109.8m (120m euros).
The former Liverpool star joined Barcelona in a £145m in January 2018 but struggled to impress during his spell at the Camp Nou.
His future in Ernesto Valverde’s squad had been in doubt since the La Liga giants completed the signing of Antoine Griezmann earlier in the summer.
And after rumours of a Premier League return with the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham , the Brazilian has now made the switch to Germany.
“For me, this move means a new challenge in a new country with one of the best clubs in Europe,” the Brazilian told the club’s website .
“I’m very much looking forward to that.
“Like FC Bayern, I have big ambitions and I’m convinced that I can achieve them together with my new teammates.”