Manchester United could be set for a busy last two weeks of the January transfer window with numerous players rumoured to be on their way to Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have been linked with several high-calibre names this month and could look to bring new faces into the club in order to finish in a top four spot.
Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo is the latest name to be on United’s radar according to reports, with the Barcelona academy graduate a regular for the Spanish giants this season.
As per Sport, the Red Devils have ‘called the player’ and Barcelona ‘know first hand’ of their interest in the centre-back.
United’s defence has been criticised this season due to its lack of organisation and mistakes that have led to goals for opposition sides, hence their interest in Araujo.
Who is Ronald Araujo?
Born in Rivera on 7 March 1999, Araujo is a Uruguay international with five caps to his name.
The 22-year-old played for several clubs in his home country before making the switch to Barcelona in 2018.
He initially played for their B team between 2018 and 2020 and made his debut for the first team on 6 October 2019.
Last season saw the centre-back promoted to the first team and was part of the squad that won the 2021 Copa del Rey.
To date he has made 61 appearances for the Spanish giants, scoring fours goals and assisting his teammates once.
According to whoscored.com, Araujo is performing at an overall average of 6.76 for his club this campaign. His tackles per game (1.2) in La Liga is better than that of Harry Maguire (0.6) and Victor Lindelof (0.7) in the Premier League.
Though predominantly a centre-back, he can also play on the right side of defence and as a holding-midfielder if required.
How likely is the deal to go ahead?
Despite interest from the Red Devils, Sport claims that Araujo and Barcelona are ‘going through a renewal process’ of his contract and the Uruguay international would stay at the club if they increase his weekly salary.
The Spanish outlet says the 22-year-old and his agent ‘won’t accept a renewal’ if he isn’t paid close to that of others at a similar age in the squad.
However, given Barcelona’s current financial troubles and their rollercoaster form, according to Marca, talks between the player and the club are ‘worrying’ and his ‘future is in doubt’ in Spain.
They also add that United have ‘already moved’ for the centre-back and made him aware of ‘how much they love him’ and ‘how far’ they are prepared to go to sign the 22-year-old.
If Barcelona can’t afford to increase his wages to the desired amount, it’s likely the Red Devils will try to secure Araujo’s services at the earliest opportunity.