Manchester United are considered front-runners to sign Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo this summer amid his ongoing contract stand-off, Spanish publication Marca claims.
The Uruguayan has been a regular starter under manager Xavi Hernandez this campaign, and the Catalan giants consider him as a big part of their plans for the future.
However, there has been no progress over a new contract. His current deal expires in June 2023. It is now reported that he has snubbed a fresh proposal, deeming the offer as ‘insufficient’.
If the impasse continues, he could be sold during the summer transfer window. United are said to be ‘better placed’ to land the central defender, having made the first move for him.
A separate report from ABC claims that United are willing to double the contract offer from Barcelona (£3.33 million) to lure him to Old Trafford, which equates to around £128,000-a-week.
Araujo has developed into a top-class centre-back at Barcelona. He has caught the eye with his ability to win regular duels as well as good distribution on both ends of the field.
The Uruguayan could be available for a reasonable fee with his contract expiring in 15 months. He could be considered as a strong competitor for Harry Maguire, who has had a tough season.
Maguire has had a difficult campaign where he has been prone to positional and unforced errors. There has been much criticism from some fans over his place in the starting line-up.
Araujo with his good concentration could be an ideal partner for Raphael Varane going forward. Elsewhere, his recent displays at right-back may have caught the Red Devils’ attention.
The 23-year-old had played as a central defender for almost his entire career, but has been transformed into a quality makeshift right-back under manager Xavi Hernandez in recent months.
The £36m-rated star has impressed from the role with two goals from six outings. It is something that he has been working around, given he played in the same position for Uruguay lately.
With both Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka struggling for consistency, Araujo could be regarded as a solution. The Red Devils duo have yet to contribute a goal or an assist this campaign.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com