FC Barcelona could sign Athletico Paranaense winger Vitor Roque as the eventual heir apparent to striker Robert Lewandowski, according to reports.
The 17-year-old made his breakthrough in 2022 as he helped his club Curitiba to an unlikely Copa Libertadores final appearance when they were beaten by São Paulo giants Palmeiras.
But Roque’s exploits were enough to earn him a call-up to Brazil’s U20 squad, for whom he has been making waves in the South American championship as the tournament’s top scorer with three goals.
Now that Memphis Depay has left the club in a €3mn ($3.25m) deal with Atletico Madrid in the current January transfer window, Barca are said to be looking for a striker to compliment Lewandowski.
According to SPORT Thursday morning, this brought them to Roque, who will turn 18 in February and will therefore be able to transfer to a European club.
Since Roque is not yet an adult, plus Barca’s financial problems, the Catalans will not be able to sign him in the ongoing window.
But after very good reports about Roque, who has scored three goals for Brazil including a brace against Peru and a penalty against Argentina in a 3-1 win, Tigrinho (the ‘Tiger Beg’) for the future. of Catalonia.
Roque is a versatile player who can play as a center forward or on either wing with a very advanced tactical understanding of the game for his age.
In just seven months with the club, he scored seven goals and provided three assists in 36 games across the national Brasileirao league and continental Libertadores competition, earning a starting spot in the team despite his tender years.
Barça are said to be convinced that Roque is the most complete forward than Palmeiras sensation Endrick, who bitter rivals Real Madrid signed in December in a deal that could fetch as much as €72m ($78.5mn).
Furthermore, Roque can be signed for less than half this amount at €30mn and Atheltico would accept three installments of €10mn ($10.9mn) per season which would greatly help Barca in their current financial situation.
At this price, Roque is worth a punt – especially considering Barca have spent four times the fee and more on misfits like Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho in the past.
Those established stars have been approved, but the Blaugrana cannot let another Brazilian promise slip through their fingers like they did with Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo and now Endrick who have all agreed terms with arch-enemies Madrid.
If Roque does not progress as planned, there would still be a market for him in the Premier