Who is Vitor Roque? The ‘next Ronaldo’ linked with solving Man United transfer issue

January 25, 2023

Manchester United want to sign a striker in the summer transfer window and Brazlian wonderkid Vitor Roque is among the names being linked with a move to Old Trafford.

Manchester United will be in the market for a striker in the summer.

United solved their immediate problems upfront by acquiring Wout Weghorst in the January window as a stop-gap option, but come the summer Erik ten Hag will want a more permanent solution. Of course, the question then becomes who should United sign.

Victor Osimhen, Goncalo Ramos and even Harry Kane have been linked with a move to Old Trafford, but according to Gazzetta dello Sport, United are interested in a move for 17-year-old Brazilian wonderkid Vitor Roque.

Due to laws in Brazil, Roque can not leave the country until he is 18, meaning if United were to move for the Brazilian he would not be able to join until the summer. Italian outlet Gazetta also reports that the forward has a £52.7m release clause in his contract with Atletico Paranaense.

Born in Timoteo in Brazil, Roque has quickly risen through the ranks. He started his career at Cruzeiro, the same club that Ronaldo Nazario and former United midfielder Kleberson played for before he joined Paranaense.

Roque has already been labelled as the ‘next Ronaldo’ in his home country, creating similar levels of excitement to when the Brazil legend came through the ranks at Cruzeiro 30 years ago. “He is going to fly so high,” Ronaldo said about Roque last year.

Although he came through the ranks at the same club as Brazilian Ronaldo, Roque’s idol is actually Cristiano, formerly of Manchester United. He told BeSoccer: “I like him a lot, he is an inspiration for me. He has been an idol since I was a child.”

Roque has also drawn comparisons with Endrick, who recently signed for Real Madrid. While the 16-year-old has Endrick only scored twice in his senior career so far, Roque has 14 goals to his name.

This form has caught the eye of former Brazil manager Felipe Luis Scolari who told GOAL: “Whatever we ask of him, he does, but his best position is No.9.

“He is someone who knows how to play in that area of the pitch, is able to constantly find space and participates well in other aspects of the game. He is the kind of No.9 that I wouldn’t have wanted to mark when I was playing.”

The potential seems to be there, but Roque isn’t the first South American wonderkid to be linked with United and he certainly won’t be the last. But with Barcelona and PSG also interested, it’s worth keeping an eye on what happens next.