Last night Vitor Roque’s Athletico Paranaense got eliminated from the Copa Libertadores on penalties. Despite the Barcelona man scoring against Bolívar, it wasn’t enough to completely overcome the 3-1 deficit from the first team, and while Paranaense did well to take the tie to a penalty shootout, in the end, it wasn’t enough.
Now Barcelona will do their best to convince the Brazilian side to let Vitor Roque join the La Liga champions this summer, instead of the original plan for him to join in January after the domestic season in Brazil comes to an end (December).
As we reported earlier this month, there were two factors that would be in play if Roque were to have a chance in arriving this summer.
The first was achieved last night with Athletico Paranaense’s elimination from the Copa Libertadores, the other was based on financial fair play.
With Franck Kessie flying to Saudi Arabia to complete his move today, Dembele in Paris ready to complete his move, and the cash injection expected from the sale of Barca Studios, both factors have been largely achieved. Although the sale of Barca Studios still needs to pass through the La Liga offices.
Negotiations for Vitor Roque’s arrival are ongoing, but it won’t be easy
According to the report in Mundo Deportivo, Roque’s agent André Cury has flown back to Brazil after spending the last few days in Barcelona, and he’s doing that just in case he needs to act as the intermediary between clubs and players.
Although Athletico Paranaense has been eliminated from the Copa Libertadores, they’re reluctant to see their prized asset leave before the season is over, with qualification for next year’s tournament a key objective for the sporting team in Brazil.
Roque would like to make the move now, and the surprise exit of Ousmane Dembele has opened up a space on the team for someone like Roque, who can play in any forward position.
It’s always good to have options when you play as many games as Barca, but at the same time, the Catalan giants do have cover in the forward positions with Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres enjoying a fine pre-season to go with the emergence of Lamine Yamal and Abde.
The key priority for a signing in my opinion is a capable right-back who’s a natural in the position. We’ve seen Araujo struggle this summer and Dest is almost certainly heading out of the door. If Barcelona want to achieve their Champions League goal, they’ll need to rectify the right-back position.