FC Barcelona will announce their latest signing on Wednesday according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Blaugrana have already made announcements pertaining to the captures of Ilkay Gundogan and Inigo Martinez on the road the 2023/2024 season, which they will play as defending La Liga champions.
Gundogan was a major coup for the Catalans, picked up on a free transfer and persuaded to reject a contract extension from former club Manchester City who he captained to a treble last term.
The 32-year-old agreed to play for Xavi Hernandez’s men for two seasons, with an optional year there for the taking provided he features in at least 60% of the matches in the 2024/2025 season.
Inigo Martinez reportedly decided to join Barca before Gundogan did, but was only announced six days ago on a two-year deal after his terms at Athletic Club in Bilbao expired.
Gundogan will partner Pedri in attacking midfield and cover for the Spain international when he needs a rest as others are given a run out.
In central defense, Martinez provides positional rivalry to the likes of Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen, and Jules Kounde.
Higher up the pitch, however, manager Xavi Hernandez needs players to keep the wingers on their toes and perhaps even take over the left flank when he doesn’t opt for four midfielders.
Back up for Robert Lewandowski is also required, and someone who is capable of one day succeeding the aging Pole as the out-and-out number ‘9’.
Luckily for Barca, their newest signing Vitor Roque ticks all those boxes.
Signed in a deal worth a total €61 million ($66 million) – with €30 million ($33 million) fixed and another €31 million ($34 million) possibly forthcoming in variables – the Brazilian will arrive from Athletico Paranense on a seven-year deal that runs until June 2030.
Though the 18-year-old won’t cross the Atlantic until January when the 2023 South American season has already concluded, Mundo Deportivo expects the transfer to be officially announced on Wednesday this week.
President Joan Laporta and sporting director Deco might have missed out on Arda Guler, who it is believed ‘played’ Fenerbahce and Barca to earn high signing bonuses and commissions from Real Madrid, but landing Vitor Roque is still a major achievement.
The joint top scorer in Brazil’s South American U-20 Championship triumph earlier this year is one of his homeland’s most highly thought of prospects, plus more versatile than both Guler and Endrick whom Real Madrid agreed a deal worth a total €70 million ($77 million) with Palmeiras for.
Despite their financial woes, Barca managed to convince Vitor Roque that his future lies in Catalonia and to ignore interest from European rivals who could offer almost three times his expected €3.5 million ($3.85 million) salary.
After a public pursuit that spanned most of 2023 so far, Barca can officially say they got their man with hopes high that Vitor Roque will fulfil his potential.