Manchester United have their sights on landing Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo amid his ongoing contract stand-off, Spanish publication Sport claims.
The Red Devils have been linked with the Uruguay international since the beginning of the year. It has been claimed that they are willing to offer more than double of Barcelona’s contract proposal.
It is now reported that Spanish giants have made no progress in renewing Araujo’s contract which expires in June 2023. The club’s offer is said to be significantly low compared to the player’s demands.
Araujo is eyeing a salary package close to Pedri’s. The Spaniard is currently on €9.4m per year. The Blaugrana’s latest proposal for Araujo is said to be just over €3m per year which has been turned down.
The contract impasse could pave the way for his exit. United are keeping a close eye, and are willing to pay a ‘high transfer fee’. The Red Devils will ask Barcelona to name their price for the centre-back.
Araujo has impressed good progress at Camp Nou over the past few years, and he is now regarded as a key figure at the heart of the defence under Xavi Hernandez.
He is open to continuing at Barcelona, but has no plans of committing his future for the current proposal on the table, considering he would still be one of the lowest earners.
United appear keen on capitalising on the situation. Araujo is not known for his tough tackling, but has caught the eye with his strong concentration in and around the box this season.
He has registered two clearances per league game while winning as many aerial duels. The 23-year-old is also comfortable with the ball at his feet with over 89 per cent passes completed.
At his age, there is plenty of room for improvement. He is currently valued at €35 million by Transfermarkt. United could prise him away for a similar sum if the contract stand-off continues.
United currently have Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones as the central defensive options. Bailly and Jones appear most likely to head for the exit door this summer.
Maguire’s performances have been pretty average this campaign, but the hierarchy are unlikely to mull over his exit. Regardless of this, Araujo may want an assured starting role to join the club later this year.
As things stand, United have been handed a chance of pursuing Araujo’s signature, but it won’t be a surprise if the Blaugrana decide to eventually meet his contract demands, given Xavi is a big admirer.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and WhoScored.com
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