Barcelona 'throw in the towel' on January signing

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • 10 Nov 2023 20:11 GMT
  • 3 min read
Xavi, Barcelona
© ProShots

Barcelona have reportedly given up any hopes of signing Brazilian wonderkid Vitor Roque from Athletico Paranaense in January, with the player set to arrive next summer instead.

Barcelona have agreed to pay Athletico Paranaense a total of €61 million for Vitor Roque's services, with €30m of that up front and the rest to follow in potential bonuses.

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Arsenal were among the clubs also interested in the youngster's services, but the 18-year-old had his heart set on a move to Camp Nou, and the chance to learn from fellow striker Robert Lewandowski.

READ: Deco reveals Barcelona's THREE transfer priorities for 2024

Lewandowski's goalscoring has slowed this season, however - the Pole hitting six goals in 13 games having managed 33 in 46 last term - and there had been hope that Roque's move could be brought forward six months.

But that idea appears to be dead in the water.

No Roque, for now

"Barca have thrown in the towel, ruling out the January arrival of Vitor Roque," report Catalan radio station RAC1.

"The club's financial difficulties are improving but the Brazilian won't be able to sign up this winter. They need to free up a salary space and that is extremely difficult to achieve."

READ: Barcelona's January transfer plans revealed as ambitious Xavi targets TWO arrivals

Barca remain in much of the €1.35 billion debt they had when they lost club legend Lionel Messi on a free transfer to PSG in 2021, but it has been restructured, allowing them to operate in the transfer market.

However, La Liga's strict ruled about the registering of players are the primary hurdle to Barca bringing Roque in early, according to the report.

Of the current first team squad, Marco Alonso is perhaps the most likely to leave in January with Atletico Madrid interested in the former Chelsea left-back. Sergi Roberto has been tipped to join Messi at Inter Miami, but he is out of contract at the end of the European season and the MLS franchise could wait.

It is understood that Ansu Fati and Sergino Dest are available for transfer, meanwhile, but both are locked into loan deals until next summer, with Brighton and PSV Eindhoven respectively.

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