Former Arsenal striker Eduardo has encouraged his old club to make a move for 18-year-old Athletico Paranaense forward Vitor Roque and feels he is destined for the top.
The teenager broke into the first team last season, netting five times in 29 outings, and recently helped Brazil win the South American Under-20 Championship.
He was named in the Team of the Tournament and also finished the competition as the joint-topscorer alongside another phenom, Andrey Santos, who Chelsea have already snapped up.
Roque netted twice for Athletico-PR at the weekend against Sao-Joseense and many in Brazil now feel he has eclipsed 16-year-old Endrick – who joined Real Madrid in a £60m deal – as the country’s most exciting young attacking talent.
Eduardo, who played for the Brazilian club briefly in the latter years of his career, is a big fan of Roque and has encouraged Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to try and sign him.
‘Vitor Roque is a great player,’ the Brazilian-born former Croatia international told Betway.
‘He has been a starting XI player for Athletico Paranaense since he was 17 years old.
‘It is a great club who I had the pleasure of playing for. They develop great players. Top clubs in Europe also want him as well as Arsenal.
‘Roque has also been selected to be a part of the Brazilian national team, so I hope Arsenal sign him as I have no doubt that he will help Arsenal achieve their objectives.’
Arsenal technical director Edu, who was previously part of the Brazil national team setup and has extensive knowledge of his country’s conveyor belt of talent, is believed to have looked into a potential deal for Roque.
However, the youngster prefers a move to Barcelona and, after missing out on Endrick to their Clasico rivals, the Catalan side are keen to wrap up a deal.
According to Spanish newspaper Sport, financial fair play rules mean they cannot stump up the cash now and will try and get Athletico-PR to agree to an initial loan deal before paying the full fee a year down the line.
Roque’s agent, Andre Cury, used to work for Barca and headed up their South American scouting, and he revealed earlier this year that a £21.8m offer had already been rejected for the teenager.
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