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Man Utd tabled £85m bid to sign Vitor Roque

Manchester United have been on the hunt for a striker ahead of the new season, being linked with Harry Kane, Rasmus Højlund, Mehdi Taremi and Goncalo Ramos among others this summer, but agent Andre Cury claims that the Red Devils also tried to sign Vitor Roque with a lucrative bid.

The 18-year-old has all but signed for Barcelona but had an offer to join Man United or Tottenham Hotspur, says Cury. Roque’s representative told the Charla Podcast (h/t Fabrizio Romano): “English clubs tried to hijack Roque deal. Tottenham and Man Utd sent bids better than Barça; close to €100m (£85.5m). Vitor only wanted Barça.”

Brendan Madden of Goal says Roque has agreed a deal with the Catalans worth €40m (£34m), so have Club Athletico Paranaense really lost out on £50m? It seems unlikely. If United have more than £80m to spend on an 18-year-old striker, they shouldn’t be priced out of signing Victor Osimhen like reports suggest. So I would take Cury’s comments with a pinch of salt.

Roque joined Athletic PR from Cruzeiro in 2022 and has gone on to make 67 appearances in all competitions, scoring 22 goals with nine assists. The Brazilian international cost only €4m and was sold for ten times that figure just one year later. He looks to have a bright future at Barca and could be the latest of talented Brazilian to shine at Camp Nou.

Erik ten Hag desperately needs a centre-forward after Cristiano Ronaldo mutually terminated his contract prematurely in 2022. Wout Weghorst, brought in as his January replacement, didn’t turn his loan move permanent, so only Anthony Martial is the only striker left.

Man United were seventh in the Premier League for goals scored (58) last season and 10th in the table for goals netted on the road (22), so it’s clear where they need to improve. Martial scored just six goals from 21 league games and had an injury-hit campaign, so he might not be relied upon to lead the line in 2023/24.

Who United will end up signing remains to be seen though.

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