Xavi says Barcelona will ‘take things slowly’ with new signing Vitor Roque

By Sports Desk January 03, 2024

Barcelona boss Xavi maintains the club will not expect too much too soon from teenager Vitor Roque.

The 18-year-old Brazil forward has been training with his new team-mates after arriving in Catalonia to complete a 40million euro (£35m) move from Athletico Paranaense but has yet to be officially registered with LaLiga.

Xavi, though, played down suggestions of any complications over Barcelona’s financial fair play restrictions and suggested Roque could be involved for Thursday’s match at Las Palmas.

Barcelona put a buy-out clause of 500million euros (£432m) in his long-term contract, which runs until June 2031.

Xavi, though, insists Roque will be given the time needed to establish himself in the side.

“The registration process is the only thing missing. He will be in the squad list. We hope to have him available (for Thursday). I imagine it’s a question of hours,” Xavi said.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by VR⚡️? (@vitor_roque9)


“We will take things slowly with him – he is only 18 years old and we can’t shoulder too much responsibility on him.

“He is doing well, is eager and has adapted very quickly to the group and to training, but we will be cautious.”

Barcelona resume LaLiga action away in the Canary Islands following the international break sitting fourth, some seven points off leaders Real Madrid and Girona.

Defender Inigo Martinez is closing in on a return from a thigh problem, so could feature in the the Copa del Rey tie at Barbastro on Sunday.

Marcos Alonso, though, is set for a spell out following surgery to help resolve an on-going back problem.

Xavi feels his players can return refreshed for the challenges ahead in 2024.

“The team has come back very well,” Xavi told a press conference. “There’s no need for words, now it’s time to show it on the pitch. We want to find continuity in our play and results.

“I see how they train, what they are capable of, we have done it with most of them. I am convinced (we can win trophies) and I am very excited to start this year.”

Las Palmas manager Garcia Pimient admits it will be somewhat strange to come up against his boyhood club, having been sacked from his role in charge of Barcelona B in June 2021 – but will have the team fully focused for the challenge.

“It is a special match because I was there for many years. I don’t know how I will feel,” Pimient told a press conference.

“A lot of time has passed since that moment. I have not contacted (Barcelona president) (Joan) Laporta again because I want to thank him because thanks to his decision I am here.”

Pimient added: “We prepared for the match knowing that we would be without the ball for a longer period.

“It will be difficult for us, but we have to be brave and be champions – if we retreat, we will not achieve anything.”

Related items

  • Rangnick confirms Bayern Munich contact Rangnick confirms Bayern Munich contact

    Ralf Rangnick has confirmed Bayern Munich have been in contact over their soon-to-be vacant coaching position.

    Bayern are on the lookout for a new coach, with Thomas Tuchel set to depart at the end of the season.

    The Bundesliga giants wanted to appoint Xabi Alonso, but the 42-year-old snubbed their advances, and those of Liverpool, to stay at Bayer Leverkusen.

    Bayern's search has now seemingly led them to Rangnick, the former Manchester United interim boss who is now coach of Austria's national team.

    Rangnick, though, is paying full attention to Austria's upcoming Euro 2024 campaign.

    "There has been contact from the side of Bayern Munich and I have informed the Austrian Football Association," Rangnick said in an interview with 90 Minuten.

    "We have a very trusting relationship. My focus is on the Austrian national team. We are focusing completely on the European championships.

    "I feel very well here. At the moment there is no reason to intensively deal with this."

    Rangnick has plenty of Bundesliga experience, having previously coached Stuttgart, Schalke, Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig.

    While Bayern's hopes of securing a 12th Bundesliga title have long since been over, they remain in with a shout of salvaging their season, with a Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid on the horizon.

    According to Opta's predictive model, Bayern only have a 37 per cent chance of overcoming Los Blancos, however.


    Austria, meanwhile, have been drawn into a Euro 2024 group that also includes Poland, the Netherlands and tournament favourites France.

    Rangnick's team will face Les Bleus on June 17, before taking on Poland four days later, and rounding off their group campaign against the Dutch on June 25. 

  • Haaland out of Brighton clash, confirms Man City boss Guardiola Haaland out of Brighton clash, confirms Man City boss Guardiola

    Manchester City will be without Erling Haaland when they take on Brighton, Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

    Haaland missed Saturday's FA Cup semi-final victory over Chelsea with a muscular injury he sustained against Real Madrid last week.

    And the issue will also see the striker, who has scored 20 Premier League goals this season, miss out against the Seagulls on Thursday.

    "Erling is not ready for tomorrow," said Guardiola, who added that City will be able to call on Phil Foden and John Stones.

    "It's not a big issue but he's not available."

    Haaland has scored, on average, every 109 minutes in the league this season.

    However, the Norwegian has actually underperformed his expected goals (xG) of 23.7.

    He has also chipped in with five assists, giving him an overall goal contributions tally of 25. Haaland has created 28 goalscoring chances for team-mates across the campaign.

    After Arsenal's 5-0 thrashing of Chelsea on Tuesday, reigning Premier League champions Manchester City sit four points off the summit in third place, albeit with two games in hand.

    Second-place Liverpool will aim to move level on points with the Gunners by beating Merseyside rivals Everton on Wednesday.

  • Liverpool line up Feyenoord coach Slot as Klopp replacement Liverpool line up Feyenoord coach Slot as Klopp replacement

    Arne Slot appears to be at the front of the queue to replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager.

    Klopp confirmed in January that he would be leaving the Reds at the end of the season.

    Xabi Alonso, who has led Bayer Leverkusen to their first Bundesliga title, was swiftly established as a leading candidate to take the helm at Anfield, where he starred as a player for the Reds between 2004 and 2009.

    The 42-year-old, however, is staying put in Germany, and Liverpool's search for Klopp's successor has taken them to Feyenoord's door.

    Slot has been previously linked to jobs in the Premier League. Leeds United wanted to appoint him last season before their relegation to the Championship, while he was targeted by Tottenham before they appointed Ange Postecoglou.

    The Dutchman intimated when linked with Spurs: "A normal next step would be to go abroad and I've always said that the best league in the world is the Premier League."

    Ideally, Liverpool will be aiming for a coach who can come close to replicating Klopp's style of play, and in particular has a flair for working with and developing young players.

    Slot has enjoyed fantastic success in Rotterdam. He became Feyenoord head coach in December 2022, after leaving AZ, and went on to win the Eredivisie title in 2022-23, having reached the Europa League final in the previous season.

    The 45-year-old has a 64.4 per cent win record from 146 games in charge, winning 94, drawing 29 and losing just 23.

    His Feyenoord team have scored 329 goals, an average of 2.2 per match, conceding 147 in return. Slot's points per game is a hugely impressive 2.13.

    Feyenoord are, though, set to relinquish their Eredivisie crown, as they trail leaders PSV by nine points. They have, however, won the KNVB Cup this term. 

    As there is no break clause in the Dutchman's contract, it has been reported that a compensation fee in the region of €10million (£8.5m) could prise him away from Feyenoord.

    Sporting CP boss Ruben Amorim is another coach who has been heavily linked with the Liverpool job, albeit he is reportedly in talks with West Ham.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.