The club’s top choice is Roque, 18, since in addition to supporting Lewandowski this season and being seen as a youngster who might eventually take the position of the Poland international, who will turn 35 in August.
This past weekend, rumors circulated in Spain that Barca and Athletico had completed a deal for up to €45 million, add-ons included.
According to sources close to the negotiations, they reported that negotiations are moving forward and there is hope that a deal would be reached this summer.
However, sources indicated, reaching an agreement on a price with Athletico is only one piece of the puzzle; before making acquisitions, Barca must make room in their roster and clear some salary space.
The Catalan club can only spend 40% of the money they earn or save on player acquisition due to LaLiga’s financial constraints.
Therefore, they are unable to recruit new players unless they free up some salary space or generate transfer fees from any departing members of the squad.
Lionel Messi, who coach Xavi Hernandez had frequently expressed a desire to sign, reiterated his intention to join Inter Miami and indicated that he could not wait for Barca to resolve their financial troubles.
Before adding another attacker, sources claim Barca would seek to lessen the strain in attack. Since Xavi switched to a midfield four, Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha, Ansu Fati, and Ferran Torres are vying for two slots.
Roque is one of the most highly regarded young players developing in the South American nation, having already received a cap from the Brazil senior team.
Roque began his career with America Mineiro’s development program, joined Cruzeiro in 2021, and transferred to Athletico the following year for almost €4.5 million.
He has already made more than 50 appearances for the Brazilian Serie A team, scoring 16 goals while doing so, and assisting them in both this year’s Campeonato Paranaense victory and last year’s Copa Libertadores final.