Liverpool and Southampton are reportedly showing interest in Espanyol’s teenage midfield prospect Marc Roca
Spanish publication Marca have broken the story that Premier League duo Liverpool and Southampton are showing interest in teenage midfielder Marc Roca. The 19-year-old Espanyol academy graduate has seen himself promoted to the first-team setup after impressing new boss Quique Sanchez Flores during the pre-season.
Marc Roca Junque joined the youth setup at the Catalan club at the age of 10 and has since progressed through the ranks at Espanyol. The 19-year-old has featured in 7 of the 8 La Liga games this season playing a total of 504 minutes out of a possible 720 while also notching up his first senior La Liga assist in the process.
Roca is predominantly a central midfielder but is equally capable of filling in as a left-back and on the right-wing. The player does not seem to have a weaker foot, which is seen as a huge plus in players these days. Although the player has not played at left-back for the senior side thus far, he was deployed at that position for Espanyol’s B side out of the 45 matches he played for the reserve team.
Roca’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season and the teenager would be free to negotiate with foreign clubs come January, a situation Espanyol are hoping to avoid. Marca’s report has added that the contract extension of the player is one of the top priorities for the club and club CEO, Robert Ramon, has stated that the negotiations are under way for the player to be handed a new deal at the club.
Another thing which seems to be on the club’s mind is the release clause inserted in the player’s contract. The figure currently stands at a measly €1.5m, with the club authorities hoping to extend it to €40m as part of the new deal.
Liverpool and Southampton are showing a keen interest in the teenager and could decide to jump in before a new contract is agreed upon so long the release clause is that low. Espanyol, on the other hand, would be hoping they are able to lock down the player on a new deal with an inflated release clause as soon as possible to ward off potential suitors.
The Catalan outfit is likely to be well aware that if a new deal is not agreed by December, the player will have other offers on the table, which would make it more difficult to agree a renewal with the teenager and his representatives.