Vitor Roque may have played his final game for Atletico Paranaense before his move to Barcelona after sources confirmed to ESPN Brasil that the striker has torn ligaments in his right ankle.
Roque (18 years old) left the field injured in the first half of the Brazilian League match, which won 2-1 over Internacional on Thursday.
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After further tests, Atletico decided the player would not undergo surgery but a club source told ESPN Brasil that Roque will remain out of action for at least three months.
With the Brazilian’s domestic season ending in December, this could mean he has played his final match for the club.
Spanish champion Barcelona confirmed in July that it had reached an agreement to sign Roque for an initial sum of 30 million euros, rising to 61 million euros based on performance-related add-ons.
The Catalan club’s plan is to bring Roque to Europe in January, although the final decision will depend on the Financial Fair Play situation with La Liga at the time.
If Barcelona are unable to sign Roque into La Liga midway through the season, there is a possibility that the move could be completed next summer instead.
In this scenario, he could play for Atletico again when the 2024 Brazilian season starts next April.
Roque joined Atletico from Cruzeiro in 2022 and has scored 27 goals in 77 games since then, including 20 in 41 this season. He is the second top scorer in the Brazilian League this season with 11 goals.
He made his first appearance with the Brazilian national team earlier this year, where he participated as a substitute in a friendly match against Morocco.
ESPN’s Adriana Garcia contributed to this report.