Journalist Fabrizio Romano has reported that Arsenal sent scouts to keep tabs on Club Athletico Paranaense’s Vitor Roque, but they are not the only club interested in the young striker.
According to the report, five top European teams are tracking the centre-forward, including Barcelona.
Roque’s team would reportedly want around €60m to part ways with the 17-year-old, a price tag even higher than the previously reported €40m.
Despite the high cost, Arsenal’s interest in Roque has reportedly been endorsed by manager Mikel Arteta. The Gunners have reportedly opened initial exploratory conversations and are discussing the possibility of pushing for the teenage striker.
However, Roque’s release clause is rumoured to be as high as €100m, which would require Arsenal to negotiate the price down if they wanted to secure the player.
The young Brazilian will turn 18 later this month, which means he will be old enough for a transfer to Europe in the summer.
Roque has made 52 appearances for both Athletico-PR and Cruzeiro Esporte Clube in 2022, scoring 14 goals and assisting five in all club competitions. The Brazilian striker is also a Brazil U20 international and has scored six goals and provided two assists in his 11 games with the national side.
All of these goals were scored during Brazil’s successful U20 South American Championship campaign, with his side emerging as champions.
In addition to UOL, Goal has also reported that Arsenal, along with Chelsea, Newcastle United, Paris Saint-Germain, and Barcelona, are in the race to sign Roque.
Edu Gaspar, Arsenal’s Technical Director, is reportedly the one to have approached Roque’s agent, but the Gunners have yet to make a concrete proposal.
As Roque has a contract with Athletico-PR until 2027, the club is in a strong position to reject lowball offers. Despite this, Arsenal seems to have a strong desire to sign the young Brazilian striker, and negotiations may continue throughout the upcoming summer transfer window.
In conclusion, Vitor Roque is a promising young player attracting interest from several top European teams, including Arsenal.
Despite the high cost, it appears that the Gunners are keen on signing the player, but they will have to negotiate a more reasonable price with Athletico-PR.
Fans are likely to have to wait and see how this saga plays out over the summer.