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Barcelona lead race for Brazilian prospect Vitor Roque, Arsenal also in the hunt

There have been growing reports recently on Barcelona’s interest in Athletico Paranaense wonderkid Vitor Roque.

The Catalans have made him their primary target for the summer, and Goal Brazil claim they are leading the race for the Brazilian prospect.

Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle United are also keeping tabs on his situation.

Premier League giants Arsenal are also in the mix, with sporting director Edu asking Paranaense about Roque’s situation.

However, Barca are ahead in the pursuit after reportedly holding concrete talks with the Brazilian outfit.

Athletico-PR, who own 85% of the player’s economic rights, have inserted a clause worth €60 million in Roque’s contract.

If Barca were to trigger it, Roque could become one of the expensive young signings from Brazil after Endrick Felipe, who has signed for Real Madrid.

Barca were keen on Endrick before their arch-rivals edged out them and signed him from Palmeiras in a deal worth around €70m. As a result, the Catalans turned their attention towards Roque.

The 17-year-old had a breakout season with Atheltico-PR last year before seeing his stock soap after a terrific run in the ongoing South American U-20 Championship. He has netted six goals in seven games in the tournament.

The Gunners will look to take advantage of Edu’s Brazilian connection to add Roque to their ranks, but Barca are unlikely to give up as they cite him as a key player in the club’s long-term plans.

The odds favour the Catalan giants as Deco has been permitted to oversee the negotiations for Roque.

The Portuguese agent and former Barca star has a healthy relationship with president Joan Laporta.

He engineered his client Raphinha’s move to Camp Nou last summer.

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