Gavi suffered a serious knee injury during the international break which has seen him sidelined for the remainder of the season, with the teenage midfielder now focusing on returning in time for the start of the 2024/25 campaign.
Having seen the squad become significantly weaker without Gavi, Deco has decided to pull the trigger on signing Roque and has brought his arrival forward to the winter transfer window.
“He is a player that we already had signed,” Deco explained. “The forecast was that he would arrive in January or June and with Gavi’s injury we have made the decision, together with the coach and all of us, that the best thing is for Vitor to arrive now.
“Vitor is a forward who moves between the lines, looks for spaces and has an eye for goal. With his arrival there will be more competition in the squad.”
Roque played his final game for Athletico Paranaense at the weekend, after which he bid farewell to his supporters.
“But for me it is a dream to go to Europe. With humility everything will turn out well. I try to work on my mind to arrive with humility, to work with desire for more. I worked all year for this and I am very happy.”
Roque will arrive in January to compete with 35-year-old Robert Lewandowski, and Barca chief Deco is looking forward to the battle for minutes.
“If we talk about Lewandowski we have to have a lot of respect,” Deco stressed. “And the important thing for Xavi is that he has the best Lewandowski.”
Vitor is a forward who moves between the lines, looks for spaces and has an eye for goal. With his arrival there will be more competition in the squad.”