Aston Villa is reportedly interested in signing Athletico Paranaense’s young striker Vitor Roque, who is known as one of the brightest prospects in Brazilian football.
The 18-year-old has already played over 60 professional matches and made his debut for the Brazilian national team during the March international break.
Roque was signed by Paranaense in April last year after impressing for Cruzeiro in Serie B, and he has started the new season in excellent form, scoring four goals in five matches for his club and six goals in eight games during Brazil’s recent u20 South American championship triumph.
Roque’s performances have caught the attention of several European clubs, with Brazilian media outlet Globo Esporte reporting that he is “in the sights” of a number of teams.
Roque’s representatives have reportedly visited Barcelona and several Premier League sides, including Aston Villa, have been in “contact” about a potential move for the talented striker.
However, Aston Villa faces tough competition from Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham, and West Ham in their pursuit of Vitor Roque.
According to Globo Esporte, two English clubs and Barcelona have promised to make a bid for the Brazilian striker in the summer, but Athletico Paranaense has not received any formal proposals yet.
The club has set a price of €42m (£36.8m) for Roque, who still has six years left on his contract with them. Roque showed his ability under pressure by scoring a penalty in the 101st minute against Cascavel last Saturday.
Villa has previously shown their interest in young strikers by signing Jhon Duran from Chicago Fire for around £17m in January.
However, Duran has been used sparingly as backup for Ollie Watkins, and Villa also has Cameron Archer on loan at Middlesbrough.
Watkins eyes European nights as Aston Villa striker sets new target
Aston Villa’s star striker Ollie Watkins is enjoying his role as the main man under Unai Emery.
While he had scored double figures in his previous two seasons at Villa Park, he had a slow start to the current campaign while Villa struggled early on and he competed with Danny Ings for playing time.
In the 13 league games before Emery arrived, Watkins only had two goals and assists each.
However, since then, he has been in top form with five goals in five games, including scoring in five consecutive away games.
Despite reaching double figures again, Watkins believes he can improve further under Emery’s guidance.
“It feels nice but I don’t want to stop here,” Watkins told The Athletic , following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Chelsea. “I want to score every week. I want to get to 20 goals and then more. I know I can be more clinical.”
Recently, many Aston Villa players have been displaying confidence, including Ollie Watkins. The team’s victory over Chelsea extended their unbeaten run to five games and has placed them in contention for a European spot.
Although there are still 10 games left in the season, Watkins acknowledged that Villa is determined to pursue the opportunity to play in European competitions.
“I’m still not content with where I am at, I want more,” he added. “We’ve got a real understanding as a team now. The fans should be excited because we definitely are.
“There’s a confidence that we can see games out now whereas at the start of the season we might have conceded. I want to score 20 goals and I want to get into Europe. I want to be playing every Thursday next season.”