Why summer departures could see United intensify Ronald Araujo interest

Manchester United are no closer to knowing who their next permanent manager will be, but that doesn’t stop the Reds being linked with big money signings.

Spanish outlet Sport claim that the Red Devils are monitoring Barcelona’s contract talks with their young centre-back Ronald Araujo.

The 22-year-old’s current deal expires in June 2023 and the Catalans are optimistic that the Uruguay international will put pen-to-paper and commit his long-term future with Xavi’s side.

However, the Spanish giants are aware that Manchester United and Chelsea can afford to pay double what Barcelona are offering, according to Sport.

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Although it’s been a difficult season for the financially stricken Barcelona, following Sunday’s 4-2 win against United’s Champions League opponents Atletico Madrid, Xavi has lifted his team up to fourth and leapfrog Diego Simeone’s side.

Playing alongside Gerard Pique, the former Manchester United defender, Araujo scored Barca’s third against the reigning La Liga champions.

Following the shock of Lionel Messi departing Barcelona in the summer, the club is going through a transitional phase and relying on the club’s youngsters to lead them into a new era of success.

Alongside the likes of Pedri and Gavi, Araujo has become a mainstay in the Barcelona side.

Would Manchester United pursue Ronald Araujo?

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Araujo has a release clause in his contract of £171 million. However, due to his expiring deal, Barcelona would be forced to accept far less than that.

Since making his Barcelona debut in the Champions League last season, Araujo has now 64 appearances for the Europa League side.

The Uruguayan international has seven caps to his name and played the full 90 minutes in both of the recent World Cup qualifiers, where Manchester United duo Facundo Pellistri and Edinson Cavani played starring roles.

(Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images) — (Photo by Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

With Phil Jones likely to leave Manchester United in the summer as well as Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe potentially following suit, the Red Devils may have to make at least one defensive acquisition.

Teden Mengi could make the step up to the first team but another loan move is the likely avenue for the youngster.

So a move for Araujo who turns 23 next month does potentially make sense.

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He would challenge Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof for a place in the starting line-up and he has his prime years ahead of him.

Although United’s short-term focus is likely to be on finishing in the top four and appointing our next permanent manager, if Araujo hasn’t signed a new contract by the summer, United could tempt Barcelona into cashing in on one of their emerging stars.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.