FC Barcelona Find New Star To Inherit Messi Number 10, Reach Nike Agreement: Reports – Forbes

FC Barcelona have found a new number 10 and have reached an agreement with Nike on the matter.
FC Barcelona have reached an agreement with Nike NKE as per which player will inherit Lionel Messi’s number 10 according to El Nacional.
The hallowed shirt had been occupied by Ansu Fati since late 2021, with reports spreading that the Spain international would have handed it back to Messi if he embarked on a second stint in Catalonia.
That didn’t come to fruition, however, as Messi opted to join Inter Miami and not wait around for the Blaugrana to get their Financial Fair Play house in order.
Upon revealing his decision to the Catalan media, the club legend explained that he didn’t want to have any part in Barca players taking pay cuts or being sold to make his return happen.
One of those put on the market was Ansu Fati. And while a permanent sale wasn’t possible, the former teenage prodigy has been shipped off to Brighton in the Premier PINC League for the rest of the season.
The development resulted in the 10 jersey going vacant for 2023/2024, with loanee arrival Joao Felix instead taking the number 14 made famous by Johan Cruyff.
In past months, El Nacional reported that Nike put pressure on Barca to sell Fati and that the 10 would go to 16-year-old wonderkid Lamine Yamal.
Now, though, according to the Catalan outlet, it appears that Brazilian ace Vitor Roque will take the shirt with Nike already on board with the change.
President Joan Laporta apparently plans to do the honors when Vitor Roque arrives from Athletico Paranaense in January, as part of an agreement worth an initial €30 million ($32 million) plus €31 million ($33.2 million) in variables.
If the report is accurate, it would appear to be the right course of action aside from putting huge pressure on Vitor Roque to wear a shirt that is arguably the heaviest in the Barca locker room.
‘The Little Tiger’ is able to play a number of positions on the front line, meaning it makes more sense for him to have the 10 than Lamine Yamal, a pure winger.
As their futures are uncertain amid his emergence, a potential exit of Raphinha or Ferran Torres could release either the number 7 or number 11 shirt more fitting of his role in upcoming transfer windows.


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