Manchester United have been linked with a move for teenage sensation Vitor Roque but will face stiff competition from the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Arsenal if they are to get the deal done.
That is according to Gazzeta, who note that – since the player turns 18 in February – will be eligible to move to Europe in the summer.
The 17-year-old Brazilian currently plays for Athletico Paranaense, for whom he is the club’s record signing at around £3.7m.
Athletico activated his release clause in April of last year to take him from Cruzeiro, but now look set to make a huge profit on that deal before long.
Roque is already a regular player for his club and has already scored fourteen goals and providing five assists at senior level despite his tender age.
Two of each came in the prestigious Copa Libertadores, including an excellent strike on his debut:
— CONMEBOL Libertadores (@LibertadoresBR) June 29, 2022
His clever movement, speed, and dribbling ability have earned him comparisons to Ronaldo, who also once played for Cruzeiro.
Transfermarkt estimates Roque’s value to stand at around €11m, however given the level of interest he is likely to move for more than that.
And particularly since Athletico Paranese have just seen Real Madrid spend €60m to secure Endrick from Palmeiras, his club may look for several times that €11m valuation. Roque also has a release clause of €60m, although it is unclear whether or not his club would accept a lower figure at this time.
Fees in the ballpark of the Endrick one would likely slow any pursuit from Man United, who’s record expenditure for a teenager was the €60m spent on Anthony Martial. That was back in 2015 and included several add-ons, many of which are yet to be achieved.
The South American market is also one that United are yet to spend big in, with United’s record signing from a South American club standing at the €8.6m spent on Kleberson back in 2003 – from Athletico Paranese, as it happens.
But a change in policy could well be on the horizon should new investment or a full takeover change United’s financial situation and bring new ideas to the table.
And Erik ten Hag has previously shown admiration for the ‘grinta’ of South American players, bringing in both Lisandro Martinez and Antony for big fees during his first transfer window.
At Ajax, several recruits were brought in directly from South American clubs and while that has always been a club policy in Amsterdam, it may well be one that Ten Hag wants to instil at United.
Whether that policy starts with Vitor Roque remains to be seen.
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