Arsenal to fight Barcelona for Brazilian teenage sensation: report

Arsenal target Vitor Roque
(Image credit: Getty)

Arsenal are desperate to secure the signature of Brazilian sensation Vitor Roque, say reports, but they face competition from Barcelona. 

Roque was one of the stars of the South American Under-20 Championship this month, finishing as joint-top scorer alongside Chelsea new boy Andrey Santos as the Selecao claimed the title.

According to Spanish outlet AS (opens in new tab), who named Roque in their team of the tournament, the Athletico Paranaense striker’s future lies in Europe.

Vitor Roque trophy

Roque was joint-top scorer at the Under-20 South American Championship as Brazil clinched the trophy (Image credit: Getty)

Arsenal and Barcelona are said to be “willing to do anything” for Roque, although they’re unlikely to be the only clubs who were impressed by the 17-year-old.

The South American U-20 Championship in Colombia concluded on Sunday, when Brazil defeated Uruguay 2-0 to finish top of the final group stage and clinch the trophy.

Roque scored six goals in eight appearances at the tournament to share the Golden Boot with his compatriot Santos.

The striker joined Athletico Paranaense from Cruzeiro last year and quickly made an impact, helping the club from Curitiba reach the Copa Libertadores final.

Vitor Roque of Athletico-PR celebrates after scoring the first goal of his team during a Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2022 quarter final second leg match between Estudiantes and Athletico Paranaense at Jorge Luis Hirschi Stadium on August 11, 2022 in La Plata, Argentina.

Vitor Roque fired Athletico Paranaense to the Copa Libertadores final last season (Image credit: Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

Roque was named in the team of the tournament, but Paranaense fell just short as they lost to fellow Brazilians Flamengo in the final.

He scored against Libertad and Estudiantes in the last 16 and quarter-finals respectively, before setting up goals in both legs of his side’s semi-final victory over Palmeiras.

Roque has already made 36 appearances for Paranaense and 16 for Cruzeiro, scoring 13 goals between the two clubs, and he doesn’t turn 18 until later this month.

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.