Manchester United have stolen a march on Chelsea after offering Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo a contract worth £8.4m-a-year, according to reports via TeamTalk.
Araujo has developed into one of the best young defenders in Spanish football since breaking into the Barca first team set-up last year and he’s now cemented himself as a regular under boss Xavi Hernandez.
However, the 22-year-old’s long-term future at the Nou Camp remains uncertain as he has less than 18 months left to run on his current contract and is no closer to agreeing an extension with the La Liga giants.
Barcelona are desperate to tie Araujo down to a long-term deal but the cash-strapped Catalans are struggling to meet his wage demands due to their precarious financial situation.
This has alerted clubs here in the Premier League to Araujo’s possible availability as Barcelona cannot afford to let him leave for nothing in 2023, so may be forced to cash-in if no new contract is agreed by the summer.
Man Utd & Chelsea interest
TeamTalk says that Manchester United and Chelsea are among the teams to have expressed an interest in signing Araujo. Chelsea are in the market for new defenders as Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger are all out of contract in June and are no closer to signing extensions.
Thomas Tuchel is now faced with the possibility of losing three of his defenders this summer so Chelsea are in the market for reinforcements and it appears Araujo is on the their radar.
However, it looks like Manchester United have stolen a march on their rivals. TeamTalk are citing a report from El Chiringuito’s YouTube channel where journalist Dario Montero claimed that United have now offered Araujo a contract worth £8.4m [€10m] per season.
Montero says the Uruguayan international is keen to remain at Barcelona and hopes to agree terms over a new deal. However, it appears Man Utd are trying to lure the South American to England with a lucrative contract offer.
It’s unlikely Barca will be able to match United’s proposal due to their financial constraints, so Araujo will have to be prepared to accept a lower salary if he’s to remain at the Nou Camp.
We’ll have to wait and see how things develop over the coming months but Araujo would be an excellent addition to the Man Utd squad if they’re able to win the race for his signature.