Real Madrid are may have fallen behind in the chase to sign one of Brazil’s top talents in Vitor Roque, with Mundo Deportivo claiming that La Liga rivals Barcelona are aiming to strike an agreement with Athletico Paranaense for his acquisition even before next summer.
Roque, 17, has been a sensation for Athletico, especially in their Copa Libertadores campaign where they are set to take on Flamengo in the final tonight. In the competition, which is the equivalent of the Champions League in South America, he has scored two goals and has provided as many assists.
While Madrid have been keeping a close eye on his progress, it is Barcelona, who have devised an extensive scouting strategy for the 17-year-old. Given that he will only turn 18 in February next year, Barcelona want to sign him next summer by striking an early agreement with his team.
The plan of action is similar to that of Real Madrid when they signed Vinicius Jr. The Merengues struck a deal in May 2017, but it only became effective after his 18th birthday in July 2018.
At Barcelona, they see Roque as someone who is well above his age. He is fast, agile, disciplined and knows how to exploit the pockets of spaces. On top of that, Barcelona’s adviser in Brazil, Deco, has endorsed his name big time.
For now, any team that wants to acquire his services has been told to shell out anywhere between €35-40 million, which is the similar range that was quoted for Vinicius and Rodrygo.
“He is a different player,” explains former Brazil manager Luis Felipe Scolari. “He is 17 years old, but from his physical, technical and mental structure, it seems that he is 22-23. He is a forward that is very difficult for defenders to deal with: he protects the ball well and he is fast,” he added.
Given the work Barcelona have put in, it is seeming evident that Real Madrid could miss out on the youngster this time.
Real Madrid veteran has ‘adopted’ Arda Guler, is mentoring him in training
The current edition of the Real Madrid squad is full of young talents, who have shown remarkable potential in recent years.
Arda Guler is among the young players looking to make a mark in European football in the years to come.
The young Turk joined Real Madrid earlier this summer, rejecting many other European giants in the process.
Toni Kroos mentoring Guler at Real Madrid
Guler has not enjoyed the best of starts to his life at Santiago Bernabeu, as he is spending a brief time on the sidelines due to an injury.
However, Guler has not stopped working on his characteristics, as he looks to kickstart his Real Madrid career on a positive note.
To that end, the former Fenerbahce starlet is receiving some key support from one of Real Madrid’s midfield pillars in the form of Toni Kroos.
This is according to MARCA, which suggests that the German international is mentoring Guler in his early days at Santiago Bernabeu.
Kroos: huge ‘sponsor’ of Guler
The report highlights how Toni Kroos is a huge admirer of Arda Guler. The German had even heaped praise on the youngster from Turkey when he joined the club earlier in the summer.
Guler, therefore, is closely training with Kroos, whose years of experience, composure, and knowledge of football, could help the youngster grow at Santiago Bernabeu.
This fits in well with Carlo Ancelotti’s vision at Real Madrid, as the Italian boss wants youngsters to have room to grow, especially with guidance from some of the older guards in the team.
It is one of the key reasons Real Madrid wanted to stick to Kroos and Luka Modric, despite bringing in Arda Guler and Jude Bellingham in the summer.
Guler, therefore, has the stage set for him to start his Real Madrid career on a strong note. After impressing in training, the next step for the youngster is to make a promising debut, which is just around the corner.