Ronald Araujo’s precarious contract situation at Barcelona is thought to have piqued the interest of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Araujo, who has regularly featured alongside Gerard Pique at the heart of Barcelona’s defence this season, has entered the final 18 months of his contract at Camp Nou and talks over an extension are yet to really get underway.
He has not signed a new contract since he joined the first team from the reserves in October 2020 and still earns considerably less than most of his teammates as a result.
According to Sport, the trio of United, Liverpool and Chelsea all want to take advantage of that and have made it clear to Araujo’s agent that they are ready to hand him a significant pay rise if he accepts a transfer in the summer.
Rival publication Marca have also claimed there is interest from United and Chelsea, while adding that Barça’s fierce rivals Real Madrid also keeping a close eye.
The dilemma for Barcelona is that rewarding Araujo with a new contract is complicated. The Catalan giants are in well-documented financial strife and any fresh terms will come with a chunky wage hike – something they’re not really in a position to offer.
Yet if they don’t, Barcelona run the risk of an interested party swooping in to offer Araujo what he thinks he’s worth. For the record, he’s said to feel wanted and respected at Camp Nou and may lower his demands to make agreeing an extension easier.
United’s interest is perhaps not surprising, given the inconsistency of their defensive performances, while Chelsea’s interest stems from the club bracing themselves to lose any combination of Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta – all three are out of contract in the summer.
Liverpool’s need for a new centre-back is not as great. They signed Ibrahima Konate in the summer and can still call upon both Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip, with Joe Gomez also acting as cover as well.