Barcelona will reportedly not table a further contract renewal offer for Ronald Araujo, a summer target for Chelsea and Liverpool.
According to a report by Catalan outlet Catalunya Radio, Barcelona’s latest contract renewal offer for Ronald Araujo will be the final one tabled to him. The Uruguayan defender is a target for Premier League bigwigs Chelsea and Liverpool over a possible move in the summer transfer window.
Ronald Araujo has come leaps and bounds since joining Barcelona from Boston River nearly four years ago. And following his promotion to the first-team setup, the 23-year-old has not looked back, gradually establishing himself as a pivotal figure for the Blaugrana.
Now arguably the most reliable defender for Barcelona, the Uruguayan international has turned out 33 times across all competitions this season, chipping in with four goals. But with a little over a year left on the player’s contract, the Catalan giants are in a spot of bother over his long-term future, with his situation alerting Chelsea and Liverpool.
The interest from Chelsea comes in the wake of the rampant uncertainties surrounding the futures of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger. Coincidentally, the former is on the verge of joining Barcelona on a Bosman move. And with Chelsea unable to hand new contracts to players due to the sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich, sweeping changes in the defensive unit are on the cards.
The problem for Chelsea is they cannot sign new players either, meaning the pursuit of Araujo will likely go on the back burner until the off-field issues are sorted. That gives Liverpool the incentive to launch the offensive for the Barcelona defender, although the interest from the Reds is surprising.
Liverpool signed Ibrahima Konate last summer, with the youngster a long-term solution for their defensive unit. But with Joe Gomez facing an uncertain future at Anfield, Liverpool might be forced to delve into the market for a centre-back, bringing Araujo into the picture. And the Merseyside giants could have been handed a major boost by the latest updates, with Barcelona unwilling to offer an improved contract to the 23-year-old.
Barcelona’s current offer will triple Araujo’s wages, but a summer exit could be on the cards if he refuses to accept the terms. So while the Uruguayan international is in advanced talks with Barcelona over a new deal, Liverpool could be in the running to prise him away from Camp Nou ahead of the 2022/23 season.