Vitor Roque Reportedly Rejects Real Madrid To Join FC Barcelona

Vitor Roque has reportedly turned down Real Madrid to join FC Barcelona.

The 17-year-old Athletico Paranaense forward is currently lighting up the South American U20 Championships for Brazil where he is the top scorer on five goals.

The Selecao face Venezuela in their second match of the final round on Friday evening. Meanwhile, however, newspapers in Catalonia are awash with news that Roque is set to join Barca when he comes of adult age on February 28.

El Nacional says that Roque has turned down an approach from Real Madrid to join the club of his dreams, with president Joan Laporta “working hard to get the young Brazilian goalscorer on board”.

Madrid have previously managed to convince the likes of Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, Reinier Jesus and Endrick to all join Los Blancos before turning 18.

In this instance, however, it seems like they have failed with Mundo Deportivo also reporting that Roque – a breakout star in 2022 as Athletico reached the Copa Libertadores final – has his heart set on donning Blaugrana.

Another facet swinging in Barca’s favor is that Roque’s agent is the club’s former representative in Brazil, Andre Cury.

MD says that Cury will travel to Barcelona soon, which could help close out a deal for his transfer ahead of the 2023/2024 season.

Athletico are allegedly determined not to accept less than €35-40mn ($38.2mn-$43.7mn) for Roque, but this can be paid in installments which will be of great help to Barca in their current financial predicament.

Roque is viewed as a potential future number ‘9’ for the Brazil senior national team and as a short-medium term successor to Robert Lewandowski at Camp Nou.

Barca must not only make a serious approach for him due to these factors, and the likelihood that his value could skyrocket if they don’t act quickly, but also because of Roque’s ability to operate in other positions such as on the wings where further reinforcements are needed.

Amid his five-week absence due to injury, Ousmane Dembele’s future is up in the air due to his contract expiring in 2024. Furthermore, neither Raphinha, Ansu Fati nor Ferran Torres have convinced manager Xavi Hernandez of their starting and long-term worth.