Philippe Coutinho boost for Barcelona after Portuguese citizenship granted - sources

Philippe Coutinho has been granted a Portuguese citizenship, sources have confirmed to ESPN FC, easing Barcelona's concerns over the number of foreign players in their squad.

Each La Liga club is allowed five non-EU players but only three are permitted in each matchday squad and, with two days to go until the Spanish Super Cup final against Sevilla, Barca risked starting the season with five.

All three of their new signings -- Arthur Melo, Malcom and Arturo Vidal -- count as non-EU players, as does Marlon Santos, who is expected to leave the club on loan this month.

Coutinho, a January arrival from Liverpool, was also in that bracket, but he has successfully been granted Portuguese documentation through his wife, Aine.

As the two have been married for longer than two years, Coutinho fulfils the criteria to allow him to play in the Spanish league as a citizen of Portugal, rather than Brazil.

The documentation has come through just in time and means Valverde won't be forced to leave one of Coutinho, Arthur, Malcom or Vidal out of Sunday's Super Cup clash against Sevilla in Morocco.

Barca took a similar route with Luis Suarez, helping the Uruguayan apply for Italian citizenship through his partner, Sofia Balbi.

Coutinho returned to Barca training earlier this week after exiting the World Cup with Brazil at the quarterfinal stage.

After joining the club from Liverpool for €160 million earlier this year, this will be his first full season at Camp Nou.

On Thursday, the club announced that the Brazil international has traded in the No.14 shirt for the No.7, which had previously been worn by Arda Turan, who is currently on loan at Istanbul Basaksehir.