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 midfielder set to sign a four-year contract with the club
In a major development, journalist Tomas Gonzalez-Martin is reporting that Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has decided to sign a new contract with the club and will pen a four-year deal to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The 26-year-old midfielder’s current contract with Real Madrid stands to expire at the end of the season. And there had been conflicting reports over whether he would be offered a new deal by the Merengues.
But the Spaniard has managed to turn things around spectacularly in recent weeks, putting up top displays one after the other, helping Real Madrid emerge out of a poor run at the start of the new year.
It has convinced the club to hand him a new contract and it seems like things are moving swiftly on the renewal front for Ceballos.
Indeed, as per the update from Tomas Gonzalez-Martin, Real Madrid have decided to offer him a new four-year contract that will keep him at the club until the summer of 2027. It will see the midfielder receive an improved salary to the one that he is currently earning.
And Ceballos has decided to sign the deal. The former Real Betis ace has always maintained that he wants to continue at the Bernabeu beyond the current campaign. And the two parties could now be close to shaking hands on a new contract.
Ceballos joined Real Madrid from Real Betis back in 2017, arriving as one of the most talented young midfielders in La Liga. However, he found the going tough initially, thanks to the hegemony of the midfield trio of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Casemiro.
The Spaniard spent a couple of seasons on loan at Arsenal before returning to the club in 2021. If not for an injury while away at the Tokyo Olympics, Ceballos could have been sold that year.
Having returned to action in January last year, he has slowly but surely gained importance in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans. And he is now set to be rewarded with a new four-year contract by the champions of Spain and Europe.