FC Barcelona have earmarked two first team stars they could sell in the winter transfer window in order to make Vitor Roque’s arrival happen, according to El Nacional.
When agreeing to pay a fixed fee of €30 million ($32 million) plus €31 million ($33 million) in variables for him to Athletico Paranaense, Barca arranged for the youngster to join Xavi Hernandez’s first team squad in January.
There was a failed attempt to bring the move forward in the summer, but ultimately the Curitiba club put their foot down by insisting that the 18-year-old should finish the 2023 season in Brazil and help them qualify for South America’s equivalent of the Champions League, the Copa Libertadores.
A bombshell from La Liga last week could jeopardize the prospect of Vitor Roque arriving at the turn of 2024 too, however.
With the Catalans’ salary limit set at €270 million ($288 million), Barca are well over budget if a report from the EFE explaining that their current outlay in this area is €404 million ($430 million) is accurate.
SPORT said that Vitor Roque coming when originally thought is now “impossible”, but Xavi revealed how sporting director Deco told him everything is in order as things stand.
“Vitor is a player who we knew could arrive in January when we signed him. That’s the deal we made with Athletico Paranaense. He is a player we are very committed to for the future,” Deco himself said at halftime during Barca’s eventual 5-0 drubbing of Real Betis.
“We want him to arrive as soon as possible. The manager is always optimistic, we also want to be optimistic like him, but it is an issue that we are working on and we will see,” the former Portugal international added.
When reporting on the development as well, Mundo Deportivo explained that a big player sale which Barca don’t want to make might prove key in Roque’s plight and navigating Financial Fair Play.
According to El Nacional, the club have already narrowed down two possible names with the first Robert Lewandowski.
After a difficult start to the season, the Pole has scored in his last three outings which includes netting the winner at El Sadar against Osasuna before the international break.
With the highest-earning contract in the team, though, which increases year-upon-year, plus the urgent need to shed money off the wage bill, possibly offloading the veteran is an idea that is reportedly gaining traction.
There has already been interest in the 35-year-old from Saudi Arabia, and it might be entertained come the winter window if emerging once more.
Elsewhere, there is a market in England for Raphinha where Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Saudi-owned Newcastle United have all made enquiries before.
The rise of Lamine Yamal and rebirth of Ferran Torres mean that the Brazilian could be dispensed with, and that’s before mentioning that Vitor Roque can play on his right wing too.