Xavi Hernandez pushing for Vitor Roque in January as deadlines are set and preparations begin

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez and Deco are doing all they can in order to bring Athletico Paranaense striker Vitor Roque to the club this January.

The 18-year-old Brazilian forward has been signed by the Blaugrana for €30m plus €31m in variables, and is due to arrive in July of 2024. Yet Barcelona’s technical staff are pushing the board to make the deal happen in January, giving the Blaugrana a midseason boost, and relieving the pressure on Robert Lewandowski.

Roque is currently recovering from an ankle injury, and is aiming to be back in the coming weeks before the end of the Brazilian Serie A season at the start of December. Meanwhile Sport say that Roque’s agent has flown to Barcelona to prepare things for his arrival, such as securing a property for him to stay in.

Barcelona are due to give the Brazilian forward the green or red light by the 15th of November, in less than two weeks time, and if he is clear to join in January, then he will take a week of holiday before arriving in Barcelona to adapt to his new surroundings ahead of time.

If Barcelona cannot get a deal done now, then he will continue at Athletico PR until July of next year.

Given Barcelona’s short squad and over-reliance on Lewandowski, Roque’s presence could be make or break for their season, even if he doesn’t make a major impact on the pitch. Simply being able to rest Lewandowski without losing the general traits of a number would change the dynamics of the season for Xavi.