Ferran Torres could inherit Barcelona’s number 19 shirt vacated by Sergio Aguero once an impending January transfer from Manchester City worth up to €65m is fully complete.
Operating as a makeshift ‘number nine’ in Manchester until injury ruled him out of action in October, Torres had effectively replaced Aguero at City and will now do so again at Camp Nou.
The veteran striker announced his premature retirement last week at the age of 33 as a result of a cardiac arrhythmia first detected in early November. Barça, despite struggling financially, have moved quickly to secure a replacement and start building a new squad for coach Xavi.
La Liga rules dictate that all first-team players must wear a shirt numbered 1-25.
Dani Alves has recently acquired the number eight shirt on his return to Barça, which leaves Aguero’s former 19 shirt one of only two options for Torres unless others depart in January.
Number 25 is also free and would typically be worn by a goalkeeper as per the aforementioned La Liga rules, although current third choice stopper Inaki Pena splits his time with Barcelona B and therefore still wears 26 as a registered non-first-team number.
Outfield players such as Thomas Vermaelen and Alex Song have worn 25 in recent years, but 19 feels a more appropriate fit for Torres, of whom big things will be expected.
Torres wore 21 during his relatively brief stay in Manchester, a jersey he inherited from another legend in David Silva, having previously worn 20 for first club Valencia.
He donned 11 for Spain at Euro 2020 during the summer, a number currently occupied at Camp Nou by teenage loanee Yusuf Demir, whose future at the club has been reported to be in doubt. In future, Torres could wear 11 for Barça, or even sooner if Demir’s time is cut short.