Barcelona have finally got their man, a deal that was confirmed by club president Joan Laporta last night has now officially been unveiled by the Catalan Clubs social media accounts.
Vitor Roque, known as ‘Little Tiger’ in Brazil is officially a Barca player, although it still remains unclear when he will join the team. There is a lot of work to do if Barca is to register Roque this summer, and it still remains likely that Roque will arrive in either January 2024 or July 2024.
The deal for Brazil’s newest shining star hasn’t always been straightforward. There was reported last-minute interest in Roque by Manchester United and Arsenal, and one report indicated that Barca had been given a 24-hour ultimatum to complete the transfer.
The deal is for €30 million with €31 million in add-ons based on performance.
There is a 20% sell-on fee for Athletico Paranaense if Barca were ever to sell Roque, but neither club is going into this agreement expecting that to happen.
The club confirmed that Roque has signed a deal which will keep him at Barca until 2030/31, and his contract will include a €500 million release clause.
It’s a strong piece of business for the Brazilian club that signed Roque just over a year ago for a club-record fee of R$24 million, which works out at just under €5 million.
Starting Number 9
Roque has been in scintillating form for Paranaense this season scoring 7 goals in 13 games in the league and 3 goals in 6 games in the Copa Libertadores.
Although he’s only made a single appearance for the Brazilian senior squad, Brazil legend Zico has little double that there is more to come saying:
“Vitor Roque will be the starting striker for the Brazilian national team. I have no doubts.”
Expectations will follow Roque wherever he goes. The plan for Roque is for him to eventually replace football legend, Robert Lewandowski. And while the Polish international spent much of his time in Germany with Bayern Munich, replacing someone who has scored over 500 career goals (and counting) comes with a significant amount of pressure.
Brazil under 20’s manager Ramon Menezes had this to say about Roque:
“He is a promising young man with a bright future. Barça wins a lot, they sign an excellent footballer,” he said.
“He is a very strong player, very intelligent to play and to attack spaces. He has talent, a lot of speed and a great sense of goal.”
The Xavi system relies on players understanding and appreciating space and movement, so that comment from Menezes will be music to the ears of Barcelona fans all around the world.