The agent of new Barcelona signing Vitor Roque has claimed that Premier League giants Manchester United and Tottenham both tried to hijack the Brazilian’s move to the Camp Nou, making offers of close to 100m euros in an attempt to convince the teenager to give up a move to Spain in favour of the English top flight.
Andre Cury, who represents the teenager, oversaw the move which was agreed earlier this week and will see Barcelona pay Atletico Paranaense an initial 30m euros plus a further 26m euros in potential performance-based add-ons.
In addition, the youngster will have a Ballon D’or clause in his contract, which will see the Brazilian side profit further if he finishes in the top 3 during his career.
Though he will not join until 2024, Roque has put pen to paper on a deal until 2031, with the 18-year-old making the same trip from South America to Spain as compatriot Endrick, who is heading to Real Madrid in 2024.
It may not have always been that way though. Indeed, Roque was subject to plenty of Premier League interest, with Arsenal thought to be among the clubs keeping tabs on the free-scoring attacker.
But it was two of the other Premier League “big six” sides who reportedly tried to sway Roque until the very end, as Cury revealed.
“Tottenham and Manchester United sent important bids, way better than Barça; close to €100m”, he told the Charla podcast. “Vitor only wanted Barça, there was no chance to change his mind”, he added.
Both Spurs and the Red Devils are in need of additional forward reinforcements, especially if Harry Kane is to join Bayern Munich this summer, but neither side have a great deal of money to work with after Tottenham missed out on European football, while Manchester United are constricted by financial fair play.
If such offers were made, it is a testament to just how highly thought of the teenager is within the circles of Europe’s elite, and he could be the man to fire Barca back to glory.