Chelsea are pressing ahead with their attempts to sign a Brazilian forward and could get to him before Barcelona, while Fabrizio Romano has rated Arsenal’s chances of completing a deal.
Chelsea and Barca were in competition for several transfers last summer. Both teams registered their interest in Leeds United winger Raphinha and Chelsea soon went on to strike a transfer agreement for him. However, Raphinha only wanted to join Barca and he therefore refused to enter contract negotiations with the Blues.
Barca eventually agreed a £55million deal with Leeds and that saw the wide man head to Catalonia, rather than west London.
Chelsea and Barca also went head-to-head over centre-back Jules Kounde, who had just had a great season with Sevilla. Ultimately, Barca won again as they captured Kounde by paying Sevilla £56m for him.
The La Liga giants enacted more misery on Chelsea by snaring Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso on free transfers, although Chelsea did manage to prise Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang away from the Nou Camp.
It seems Chelsea have not forgotten about Barca’s antics and are doing all they can to sign Brazilian striker Vitor Roque before their transfer rivals.
Barca have previously put themselves at the front of the queue to sign the Athletico Paranaense star. But on April 11, transfer insider Graeme Bailey revealed to TEAMtalk that Barca’s talks for Roque had stalled. He also revealed how Chelsea and Arsenal were making progress in their respective bids to sign the 18-year-old.
Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo have now provided an update on the situation. They reveal that Chelsea are ‘moving quickly’ to hand Barca a final blow by reaching an agreement to sign Roque.
Chelsea to offer striker first Premier League opportunity
Chelsea have made a ‘firm’ commitment to bring Roque to Stamford Bridge and gradually integrate him into the senior squad.
Barca’s pursuit of the highly rated attacker is now falling part. They view a deal as being ‘complicated’ as they do not have the funds to compete with Chelsea.
The report adds that Roque is expected to move for €40m (£35m) this summer.
Romano has also discussed the player’s future. Writing on Twitter, he states that Roque would ideally like to join Barca, but they are struggling to meet Athletico Paranaense’s demands.
The transfer guru adds that there have been ‘no concrete talks with Arsenal’, despite them previously expressing an interest in him. This means Arsenal are way behind their London rivals in the chase to sign Roque.
After being courted by a host of top European clubs, it seems a move to Chelsea is beckoning for Roque. He will aim to become Chelsea’s first-choice number nine in the coming years, though he still has some more developing to do before he reaches the top level.