Man Utd steal march on Chelsea after opening talks to sign 22y/o South American star

Ronald Araujo barcelona 2022

Manchester United have made contact with Ronald Araujo to discuss a possible move and now lead Chelsea in the race to sign the Barcelona defender, according to reports via TeamTalk.

Araujo has developed into one of the most highly-rated young defenders in Spanish football since breaking into the Barcelona first team set-up last season and he’s now establishing himself as a regular under Xavi Hernandez.

However, the 22-year-old’s future at the Nou Camp is in serious doubt as he has just 18 months left to run on his current contract and is no closer to agreeing an extension with the Spanish giants.

Barcelona are desperate to tie him down to a new long-term deal but TeamTalk says the Catalans have so far offered around half the €6m-per year salary Araujo is requesting as he looks for parity with the likes of Pedri and Ansu Fati.

The situation has opened the door for a move as Barca cannot afford to lose the youngster for nothing in 2023 so they’ll be forced to cash-in if an agreement isn’t found soon, and it seems clubs in the Premier League are ready to pounce.

TeamTalk are citing a report from Marca that claims Manchester United and Chelsea are showing a keen interest in signing Araujo and are willing to offer him a bumper contract to lure him away from the Nou Camp.

Thomas Tuchel is in the market for defensive reinforcements as Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen could all leave for free when their contracts expire in June and it appears Araujo is a target for the Chelsea boss.

However, it looks like Man Utd have stolen a march on their rivals as Marca says United have already held talks with Araujo to make it clear how far they are willing to go in order to secure his signature.

Fellow Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo also claims that Manchester United are now leading the race to sign the Uruguayan international as Ralf Rangnick looks to strengthen his options in defence.

Harry Maguire has endured a nightmare season while Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have failed to convince so Man Utd are reportedly eyeing a new centre-back and it looks like they’re in pole position to land Araujo.

However, a deal this month may be unlikely as Barcelona haven’t given up hope of agreeing a new deal with the South American so Sport suggests that United may wait until the summer before making a formal swoop for the centre-back.

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