Chelsea battle Man Utd for Barca star as Boehly ditches transfer rule | Football

Brazilian forward Vitor Roque could leave Camp Nou this summer (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea are ready to battle Manchester United and a host of other clubs to sign Vitor Roque this summer should Barcelona decide to sell, according to reports in Spain.

The 19-year-old moved to Camp Nou in January in a €61million (£52.2m) deal from Athletico Paranaense, with the transfer considered a major coup at the time.

But since then, Vitor Roque has only started two La Liga matches – appearing as a sub nine further times – and his agent has intimated that he may need to leave in order to get regular game time.

Now Spanish newspaper AS are reporting that a transfer battle could be about to ‘explode’ over the Brazilian teen, with as many as 30 clubs making enquiries about his availability.

While Barca rate the youngster highly, Xavi has reservations and his own summer transfer plans are dependent on raising funds from player sales.

Cashing in on Vitor Roque would allow Barcelona to strengthen other areas of the squad, though they might also consider a loan if he is guaranteed a starting role at a top-flight club elsewhere.

Manchester United have already been assessing the situation – and actually tried to sign Vitor Roque when he was still in South America – but now Chelsea are also weighing up the logistics of a deal.

Barcelona's Vitor Roque wanted by Man Utd and Chelsea

Vitor Roque could leave Barca mere months after joining (Picture: Shutterstock)

The west Londoners are in need of more firepower up top and want to bring in a new forward this summer, with Vitor Roque ticking a lot of boxes.

However, Chelsea’s hierarchy and Todd Boehly are actually prepared to lift their restriction of only signing up-and-coming players under the age of 25 and the striker position is one where the Blues would rather go for a different profile of forward.

With a number of young attackers already at the club, and Christopher Nkunku likely to have a more prominent role next season if his injury woes are over, Chelsea would ideally like to bring in a more established number nine who won’t need to adapt to the Premier League.

Speaking about Vitor Roque’s future, his agent, Andre Cury, said earlier this week: ‘I already spoke with [sporting director] Deco. The boy has a contract with Barca and we chose Barca instead of other options where we could earn double the money.

‘I am certain that Vitor Roque will be a great player but if Barca doesn’t let him, the club or the coach, I don’t know what happens internally, we will look for another way. We do not want a loan. If the club decides that he cannot stay, he will be sold. There are many teams interested in Vitor Roque.

‘If the club does not give space to Vitor we will have to look for a solution. Either he stays or he is transferred, not a loan, it is very dangerous for the boy’s career. The best thing would be to stay at Barca, but if he cannot stay we will work for a transfer.’

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