It is fair to say that Ronald Araujo has been the backbone of the Barcelona backline this season. The Uruguayan defender played against Real Madrid with a broken hand and was the best player on the pitch for the Blaugrana.
In fact, Araujo underwent an operation on his metatarsal days before the El Classico and was fitted with two screws to keep the bones in position.
The 22-year-old has shown impeccable maturity and technique while defending and it is no surprise that Barcelona want to keep him, having struggled with defensive collapses on a consistent basis in the last 3-4 years. Defense has let the former La Liga champions down and Araujo is the only positive from a rather weak Barca backline.
What has been said?
Addressing the press conference ahead of the game against the Athletic club in the Copa Del Rey, Xavi said that renewing Ronald Araujo’s contract is one of the main priorities for the club as it stands and reiterated that it was important that the club and the player reached an agreement.
In fact, while deciding his XI for the El Classico Barca boss Xavi believed that only Araujo had the capability to stop an in-form Vinicius Jr. With that said, the 41-year-old also hailed the 22-year-old as an ‘extraordinary defender’.
“Renewing Araújo is a priority. He is an extraordinary defender, it is important to reach an agreement because he is a necessary player for the present and the future.”
Are there likely to be any complications in the negotiations?
Recently, Araujo was linked with a move to Real Madrid with the Los Blancos said to be keen on signing the central defender on a Bosman, after his current contract with the Blaugrana would expire in 2023. However, the player’s agent rubbished the claims and insisted that his client is ‘happy where he is’ and that he was eager to continue playing for the Blaugrana.
Liverpool are also said to be interested in signing the 22-year-old but it is unlikely that the former PL champions will cause Barca serious problems during the negotiations.
Recently, El Nacional claimed that Manchester United made a €30 million offer to Barcelona to acquire the services of Ronald Araujo. The source claims that Barca rejected the offer. The Red Devils are reportedly looking at Araujo to partner with Raphael Varane at the heart of the Manchester United backline, with Harry Maguire falling down the pecking order.
When will the talks begin?
It is understood that Barcelona are expected to present a formal offer to Araujo in the coming days. An agreement is expected to be reached soon enough. The idea is said to be to renew the player for five more seasons.
Araujo currently is one of the lowest-paid players at Barcelona and the player wants recognition on a sporting and an economic level. It is fair on the player’s part to demand a pay-rise in accordance with his performances on the pitch for the Blaugrana off-late.
Do you think Ronald Araujo will renew with Barcelona?
A medical student with an avid interest for the game.