Athletico Paranaense’s young Brazilian striker Vitor Roque has reportedly turned down a move to Arsenal in favour of signing with Barcelona this summer.
The 18-year-old has been highly sought after by several European clubs, including Arsenal and West Ham, but has apparently made it clear that his preference is to join the Catalan giants.
Roque’s impressive performances in the South American U-20 Championship earlier this year attracted the attention of several top clubs in Europe. Arsenal, in particular, were reportedly very interested in signing the young striker and were said to be willing to do whatever it takes to bring him to the Emirates Stadium.
However, according to recent reports, Roque has already ruled out the possibility of joining Arsenal or any other English club, opting instead to hold out for a move to Barcelona.
Despite the Spanish club’s financial difficulties, Roque is said to be determined to sign with them, and Barca are thought to be equally determined to sign the talented young forward.
While it remains to be seen whether Barcelona will be able to meet Athletico Paranaense’s asking price of between €35m and €40m for Roque, the club is said to be planning to send a delegation to Brazil to negotiate a deal.
In the meantime, Arsenal will have to look elsewhere for attacking reinforcements.
The one name being mentioned with most regularity in connection to an Arsenal move is Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio, who is out of contract in the summer.
Asensio is, of course, a completely different type of player to Roque which indicates Arsenal could be looking to bring in another young centre-forward.