In the midst of Ousmane Dembélé’s tumultuous departure to PSG, the arrival of Vitor Roque in Barcelona this August is far from being an automatic transition. Anticipating the arrival of ‘Tigrinho’ is a much more intricate operation than meets the eye, and it is one that does not solely depend on the intentions of the Blaugrana.
To begin with, Barcelona will have to decide how to utilize the resources obtained from Dembélé’s transfer. Will they be entirely reinvested in new signings? Furthermore, with these potential new arrivals, will they manage to cover the salary gap left by the departure of the unruly French winger?
This uncertain scenario is compounded by the fact that, currently, there is no agreement in place for Dembélé’s transfer. Barcelona is not willing to pay the desired €25 million for the winger. Caught off guard by Ousmane’s sudden departure, the sporting management has yet to determine whether reinforcements will be sought and what specific profiles they would ideally target. A right-back, with Iván Fresneda being the front-runner, is on their radar, alongside an additional winger.
In this complex situation, Barcelona needs to assess whether they can accommodate Vitor Roque within their salary structure. Ostensibly, the arrival of the Atletico Paranaense No. 9, who cost €30 million (with the potential to increase to €31 million with add-ons), is planned for the winter transfer window. This timing depends on a relaxation of Financial Fair Play rules by LaLiga, expected to occur in autumn.
Negotiating with ‘Furacao’
If Barcelona aims to have ‘Tigrinho’ on board sooner, the second part of the operation will commence: negotiations with Atletico Paranaense. This step will primarily hinge on strictly sporting matters concerning the Brazilian club.
As long as ‘Furacao’ remains in contention in the 2023 Copa Libertadores, their primary objective after being eliminated from the Copa do Brasil, it will be challenging for them to engage in monetary compensation discussions with Barcelona. They will be reluctant to part ways with their key asset.
Under the guidance of Wesley Carvalho, the team played their first leg of the continental tournament’s round of 16 in La Paz, losing dangerously with a scoreline of 3-1, despite ‘Tigrinho’ providing an assist. They will have to mount a comeback in the upcoming second leg, scheduled for next Tuesday in Curitiba.
Should Atletico Paranaense qualify for the quarterfinals, they will face the winner between River Plate and Porto Alegre’s Internacional. The first leg is planned for the week of August 22nd, with the second leg taking place a week later, during the week of August 29th.
Hence, this second quarterfinal tie will be concluded before the closure of the Spanish transfer window on September 1st. According to information obtained by SPORT, Barcelona has not yet contacted Vitor Roque’s agents or Atletico Paranaense’s sporting management to discuss the possibilities of expediting the striker’s incorporation.