Manchester United made a massive bid for Vitor Roque before the Brazil international chose La Liga champions Barcelona over the Premier League giants.

That is according to Andre Cury; Vitor Roque’s very outspoken agent.

Now, we have a few questions. We do not doubt that Manchester United’s interest in the 18-year-old whizzkid was real and genuine. Roque is one of the most exciting young strikers in the game, after all. And every man and his dog knows that a number nine is one of Erik ten Hag’s top targets in the final month-and-a-half of the window.

Athletico Paranaense v Flamengo - Copa Do Brasil 2023
Photo by Heuler Andrey/Getty Images

Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo even claimed that United made and failed with an eleventh-hour attempt to hijack Roque’s £25 million move from Athletico Paranaense to Barcelona; Blaugrana president Joan Laporta finally confirming in midweek that the deal is ‘done’ (ESPN). 

But it’s the fees mentioned by Cury which really pique our interest.

Manchester United reportedly made big Vitor Roque bid

“We received much bigger offers from Tottenham and Manchester United for Vitor Roque,” Cury tells the Charla Podcast. “It was over 100 million euros!

“But his career plan is well mapped out and we opted for Barcelona. The moment is not to look at the money but the career.”

Unfortunately, Cury did not provide a breakdown of that supposed £85 million sum. Given that Roque joined Barcelona for £60 million less, it’s unlikely that the ‘100 million euro’ fee was referring solely to the sum United would have paid Athletico Paranaense up front.

It is more likely that United’s supposed £85 million offer includes a series of add-ons. Plus the wages that Roque would have earned over the course of a long, multi-year contract at Old Trafford.

United still need a striker

Either way, with Roque now off the market, the number of strikers who fall within Ten Hag’s Venn diagram – those affordable enough and talented enough for a Man United side operating on a restricted budget – has just become the little bit smaller.

Rasmus Hojlund, per Fabrizio Romano, remains the number one target. Randal Kolo Muani and Goncalo Ramos are names to keep an eye on too, with 29-year-old Mehdi Taremi another much cheaper option.