Vitor Roque may be headed to Europe soon…
Talks between Barcelona and Brazil’s Athletico Paranaense over the transfer of the 18-year-old Brazilian forward are progressing well, according to ESPN.
Roque is the club’s first option because as well as helping take some of the load off Lewandowski this season, he is also viewed as a player who could one day replace the Poland international, who will turn 35 years old in August.
Reports in Spain suggested over the weekend that Barca have reached an agreement with Athletico Paranaense worth a potential €45 million including add-ons.
Sources close negotiations did not to confirm an agreement to ESPN but did say that talks are advancing and there is optimism a deal will be concluded this summer.
However, agreeing a fee with Athletico Paranaense is only part of the puzzle, sources added, with Barca also needing to free up salary space and room in their squad before committing to signings.
Due to LaLiga‘s financial restrictions, the Catalan club can only spend 40% of anything they save or generate on bringing in new players.
Therefore, they are not in a position to register new signings until they free up some salary space or bring in transfer fees for any outgoing squad members.
It’s for that reason Lionel Messi, who coach Xavi Hernandez had repeatedly stated a desire to sign, confirmed his intention to join Inter Miami, saying he could not wait for Barca to sort their financial issues.
Sources say Barca would also like to lighten the load in attack before signing another forward, with Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres competing for two positions since Xavi‘s switch to a midfield four.
Roque, who has already been capped by the Brazil senior side, is one of the highest-rated youngsters coming through in the South American country.
After starting his career in America Mineiro‘s youth setup, Roque joined Cruzeiro in 2021, making the move to Athletico Paranaense the following year in a transfer worth around €4.5m.
He has already made over 50 appearances for the Brazilian Serie A side, scoring 16 goals and helping them reach the Copa Libertadores final last year and win the Campeonato Paranaense this year.