It is well-established at this point that Barcelona wish to sign a new striker in the summer transfer window. While a new pivot is the main priority, the La Liga champions also wish to add a centre-forward to relieve some of the burden on Robert Lewandowski’s shoulders.
As such, Athletico Paranaense and Brazil striker Vitor Roque has been identified as the top priority to reinforce the No. 9 position.
But, according to the latest update from Toni Juanmarti, the operation to bring Roque to Barcelona in the summer has gone ‘cold’.
While the club acknowledge that the 18-year-old wonderkid is a key target, at the moment, they are focusing on meeting the short-term objectives given their economic situation and the Financial Fair Play issues.
As such, the trail for Roque has gone a bit cold, although his entourage is still waiting for Barcelona to reactivate the operation.
A move for the Brazilian striker has been in the works for some time now. Roque is keen on joining Barcelona in the summer. His father and agent also made a trip to Catalonia to meet with the club officials.
However, the financial situation does not permit the Blaugrana to splash the cash heavily, especially when they now need to sign a top-level replacement for Sergio Busquets.
But, Athletico Paranaense are understood to be holding out for around €45 million for their prized asset, and Barça are of the belief that the valuation is higher than it should be.
Deco, who will become the next sporting director of Barcelona, has made it his priority objective to sign Roque. But, if the financial situation does not allow for it, the Blaugrana could look at cost-effective alternatives.
Liverpool star Roberto Firmino, who is set to become a free agent, has been linked with the Catalans of late, while former striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also remains an option on the table.