Newcastle United and West Ham are leading the pack to sign 17-year-old forward Vitor Roque, considered one of the brightest young prospects in Brazil. The Athletico Paranaense striker, who has already played more than 40 games in his country’s top division, has indicated that he dreams of a move to England and a deal is likely to be wrapped up before the end of the January transfer window.
Barcelona had also been in the race to sign the forward, but due to financial constraints appear to have pulled the plug on a move to bring the Brazil under-20 international to the Nou Camp.
That leaves Newcastle and the Hammers in pole position to secure a move. Bankrolled by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, the Toon Army have signed several top players in a series of careful acquisitions. Manager Eddie Howe has helped the club reach third place in the Premier League, with the side losing just one game from 20. West Ham, on the other hand, have been quietly busy on the transfer market, and the sale of Danny Ings appears to open the space for another signing in East London.
Vitor Roque still has almost three years remaining on his deal in Parana, but money talks, and his club are ready to sell if a club can meet their $38 million valuation. This would make the player one of the youngest teenagers in transfer history, should a deal be completed.
As we enter the final week of the transfer window, this is a development to watch closely. Vitor Roque may not be a guaranteed starter at either club, but he will be adding much needed depth to both club’s squads as we enter the second half of the league season.
What is more interesting is that Newcastle and West Ham will play each other in the Premier League next. The two clubs are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum in the league table, and Vitor Roque may even end up following the Premier League live scores between these two sides before making the all important transfer decision.
Vitor was born in Timoteo in Brazil, and began his career at America Minero aged just 10, before making a move to league giants Cruzeiro in 2019. At Cruzeiro, he made his professional debut. A transfer to Parana followed for $7.5 million just one year later.
(With inputs from Eyefootball )
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