Transfer Talk: Gunners ready to Roque Barca's transfer swoop
Arsenal have reportedly moved ahead of Barcelona in the race to land Brazilian wonderkid Vitor Roque.
Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo claim the Gunners intensified their interest in the 18-year-old striker over the recent international break by making contact with Athletico Paranaense.
Sporting director Edu has been tracking the progress of his compatriot for some time and believes the youngster's development can be best handled in North London.
Should he choose the Emirates as his next destination, Roque would link up with three fellow Brazilians in Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli.
Chelsea are also keen on the starlet, who has 10 goals in 40 appearances for Paranaense's senior team, including three in four outings this term.
Yet the Blues' recent excessive spending under Todd Boehly could make striking an agreement this summer problematic.
Finances are also an issue for Barca, who the report claims are not in a position to make big-money moves — even if the Camp Nou is reportedly Roque's preferred destination.
One potential solution the Spaniards are exploring is a pre-agreement, which would see Roque remain in Brazil for another season ahead of a permanent switch to Catalonia in the summer of 2024.
Blessed with immense pace and strength, Roque's six goals in eight appearances for his nation's Under-20s this year have only increased his burgeoning reputation further.
In other news
Manchester United are considering Eintracht Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani and Atalanta ace Rasmus Hojlund as potential alternatives to Harry Kane, say the Manchester Evening News.
Football Insider report Brighton are lining up a new contract for their young striker Evan Ferguson in order to ward off interest from the likes of Tottenham.
Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have lodged opening bids for Hajduk Split's 16-year-old Croatian defender Luka Vuskovic, according to 90min.