La Liga: Barcelona sign 18-year-old Vitor Roque from Athletico Paranaense

After months of chasing and battling other clubs in the transfer race, Barcelona have officially confirmed the signing of Vitor Roque from Athletico Paranaense.

18-year-old Vitor Roque has been in demand this summer with several top clubs across Europe asides from Barcelona FC, pursuing his signature. Some clubs interested in signing him include Manchester United, PSG, and Chelsea, among others.

Barcelona sign 18-year-old Vitor Roque from Athletico Paranaense
Vitor Roque celebrates a goal scored for Brazil. Source: Getty

Financial details were not disclosed but media reports claimed Barca agreed to a 40 million euros ($44.07 million) fee with €21 million in add-ons for the player seen as the successor to Robert Lewandowski who turns 35 next month.

The deal, which will begin in 2024 and run for seven years, includes a 500m euros (£427m) buyout clause.

Given the Blaugrana’s Financial Fair Play problems, Roque will not be joining the club this summer and fans will have to wait until the summer of 2024 to see the 18-year-old step out on the pitch in the club’s iconic garnet and blue colours.

Barcelona have brought in Ilkay Gundogan and Inigo Martinez on free transfers this summer, with the Catalan giants still suffering from financial difficulties.

Barcelona sign 18-year-old Vitor Roque from Athletico Paranaense
Athletico Paranaense’s Vitor Roque celebrates scoring their first goal against Palmeiras at Allianz Parque in Sao Paulo. Source: Reuters

They are currently able to spend only 50 percent of any savings or new income because of La Liga financial restrictions on clubs exceeding their spending limit, as determined by the Spanish league.

Roque, one of the hottest prospects in Brazilian football, has scored six goals in his last six games.

The forward made his debut for the Brazilian national team in March and can play in wider areas as well as through the middle.

Roque finished as the top goalscorer at the South American Under-20 championship earlier this year with six goals as Brazil triumphed.

Barcelona are still looking for a holding midfielder to replace captain Sergio Busquets, who left the club at the end of last season to join Inter Miami.