According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano on the Here We Go podcast, Barcelona are eager to bring new acquisition Vitor Roque to the club this summer itself.
After much negotiations, Barça managed to secure the signing of Roque from Athletico Paranaense earlier this summer.
The Catalans will be paying a transfer fee of €30 million (fixed) plus another €31 million in variables. The 18-year-old striker has signed a long-term contract with the club until 2031, with a €500 million release clause.
In the official announcement, Barcelona had confirmed that Roque will be staying at Athletico Paranaense for the upcoming season and will join the club only in the summer of 2024.
Given the club’s Financial Fair Play situation and Roque’s importance for Athletico, the move made sense for all parties involved.
Ousmane Dembele’s exit changes things
However, Ousmane Dembele’s imminent departure from Barcelona has changed things, with Romano reporting that the La Liga champions now want to advance Roque’s arrival to this summer itself.
The Frenchman is set to join PSG imminently and his departure will clear plenty of room for the club as far as Financial Fair Play is concerned.
As such, Barça wish to have Roque in their squad right away as the 18-year-old wonderkid would increase the attacking depth in the team.
While Roque is also said to be keen on making the move right now, any such operation would be complicated as the Blaugrana would have to negotiate with Athletico Paranaense.
The Brazilian outfit might be willing to let the teenager go if they are eliminated from the Copa Libertadores. Athletico are currently in the Round of 16, where they have lost the first leg contest against Bolivar, with the second leg set to be played next week.
It will be interesting to see if Barça are able to bring Roque this summer itself, given that they are also trying to sign Bernardo Silva and a right-back as well.