Arsenal, Man Utd and Newcastle set to battle for £40m Brazilian wonderkid, with ‘bids made’

Harry Watkinson
Athletico Paranaese youngster Vitor Roque

Athletico Paranaense club president Mario Celso Petraglia has admitted that Vitor Roque is likely to head to Europe next season, with Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle all interested in him,

The Brazilian club have slapped a hefty £40m valuation on the 17-year-old, which is a lot of money for a youngster. But, the striker is touted to have huge potential.

Barcelona are also believed to be in the race for Roque, so it will be interesting to see which club comes out on top in the race for his signature.

According to Fabrizio RomanoBarca, along with several English clubs are interested in signing him.

On Twitter, quoting Petraglia. he said: “Athl. Paranaense president Petraglia: ‘There’s a race to sign Vitor Roque.

“‘European top clubs want him and we received approached and bids, but it’s still not what we want to sell Vitor.’

“Barcelona have Vitor Roque on their list – but English clubs are also keen.”

Indeed, it is believed that Arsenal, Newcastle and Manchester United have all been scouting Roque as they line up a move for him next summer.

According to various reports, Athletico are demanding a fee of at least £40m, after already turning down a £22m bid from an unnamed European club.

The Brazilian club made Roque their record signing when they snapped up the-then 16-year-old from Cruzeiro in April 2022, and now look set to be rewarded with a big profit as the Premier League trio and Barcelona circle.

Meanwhile, as reported by Football365 on Monday, Arsenal director Edu has now begun talks with Roque’s representatives, with the player labelled ‘the new Ronaldo’ due to his similarities with the former Brazil number nine.

It is believed that Roque could be convinced to head to the Emirates by the prospect of linking up with Gabriel Martinelli, who joined Arsenal as a teenager and has since made enormous strides under Mikel Arteta.

With that in mind, Arsenal currently look to be the favourites to land a deal, with Athletico director Luiz Felip Scolari admitting that a summer departure is likely.

He said: “Vitor will probably be sold. He’s 17 years old and has a lot to learn on the pitch.

“But he’s been playing in the Campeonato Brasileiro and the Copa Libertadores since he was 16. He’s a 17-year-old boy with the brain and experience of a 24 or 25-year-old.

“He’s ready. When [a club] comes up with enough money, I think we will sell.”

In 36 senior appearances for Athletico, Rqoue has scored seven goals and has made four assists.

The Brazilian is quick, strong, skilful and versatile, with the ability to play as a centre-forward or on either wing, so he could provide cover in multiple positions.

With Roque looking set to be a top player in the future, it will be interesting to see which team lands a deal for him in the summer, with a switch to Europe now looking increasingly likely.

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