Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho has discussed joining Bayern Munich for the rest of the season, his hopes and dreams in Germany, as well as the importance of the gesture to give him the number 10 shirt.
Coutinho has joined the Bavarian club on loan for a fee of around €8.5m, with his wages also taken care of, and the Bundesliga side have an option to buy fixed at €120m come the end of the season.
And, speaking to the press for the first time since this move, as quoted by the Independent
“It belonged to [Arjen] Robben, he was a great reference in football. I hope to be able to confirm expectations with good football on the pitch.”
It is understood that Robben himself signed off this, as chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge explained: “We planned to not award the 10 and seven this year as a gesture for Robben and [Franck] Ribery.
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“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.”
Coutinho then continued: “I want to be ready to play as soon as possible and I cannot wait for tomorrow with the first meeting with my colleagues and the coaches.
“There are always big expectations at Bayern and of course the Champions League is a goal and I will do my best to win the Bundesliga, the cup [the DFB-Pokal and the Champions League with my colleagues.
“I have a big challenge here and I hope to stay here for a long time and win many titles.
“I was presented with an ambitious project, I’m an ambitious guy, and I talked to Thiago, Rafinha and Lucio, and I’ve heard a lot of good things, they really helped me a lot.
“I’m hardworking and ambitious, and every time I wear the Bayern jersey, I’ll do the best I can on the field to reach our goals.”
Rummenigge later added: “We are convinced that we have brought a very good player and I do not rule out that it can be a long-standing partnership.”