Aston Villa have made contact with Athletico Paranaense’s Brazilian teenage striker Vitor Roque ahead of a potential move to Villa Park, according to reports.
What’s the latest on Aston Villa’s interest in Vitor Roque?
As per Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte, Roque is on the radar of several of Europe’s elite clubs, with his entourage recently visiting Barcelona to establish contact ahead of a potential offer, and Premier League heavyweights Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham also mentioned.
However, the piece suggests that Villa are on of the clubs to have made contact with the 18-year-old and could be ready to splash the cash on one of South America’s brightest young talents.
However, the signing of Roque would likely require significant investment with the £52.7m release clause – as reported by Italian outlet Gazetta dello Sport – significantly higher than the club record £33m paid for Emiliano Beundia in the summer of 2021.
Why are Aston Villa tracking Roque?
Striking starlet Roque’s performances for Athletico Paranaense in the Brazilian Serie A this season have attracted attention across Europe, with the teenage sensation registering seven goal involvements in just 14 starts.
Roque was rewarded for his performances with a call-up to Brazil’s national team the Selecao in March, playing 25 minutes as a substitute against Morocco, alongside Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior and Manchester United’s Antony.
His impact at such a tender age in Brazilian football has led to him being labelled the new Ronaldo by journalist Tauan Ambrosio.
Ronaldo himself has commented on the rise of Roque, saying just last year that: “He is going to fly so high” (via Goal).
With Villa looking to build a youthful, exciting squad under the guidance of manager Unai Emery, who has an excellent record of developing young players, Roque would certainly fit the bill.
CEO Christian Purslow already told BT Sport ahead of the 4-2 Premier League defeat to Arsenal in February that he is anticipating an “extremely busy summer” (as relayed by Birmingham Live), which makes the exciting addition of Roque seem all the more possible to Villa fans.
Signing such a highly-rated youngster ahead of so many of the Premier League, and Europe’s, elite clubs would also represent a major statement of intent from the Midlands outfit as they look to build themselves into European regulars.
With the teenager’s potential seemingly sky-high, a move to Villa Park could be the perfect platform for him to showcase his talents on the biggest stage.