Barcelona are being tipped to sell key youngster Ronald Araujo if the 23-year-old Uruguayan center-back does not renew his contract at the Camp Nou this summer.
Journalist Pepe Brasin told Diario AS that he suspects the 23-year-old defender may be offloaded in a bid to raise funds if he does not put pen to paper on a new deal. He explained, “My feeling is that Araújo is going to be sold by Barça this summer, and will be very expensive. They can sell him for €80 million.”
Araujo arrived at Barcelona from Uruguayan side Boston River in 2018 for just €1.7 million plus add-ons. He has gone on to become a key player in central defense this season alongside Gerard Pique, making 32 appearances in all competitions for the Catalan giants and scoring four goals.
However, the center-back’s contract is up next year which means Barca will have to renew to avoid the risk of losing him on a free transfer in 2023. If an agreement can’t be reached Barca may be tempted to cash in on Araujo.
Barca do also have plenty of other defensive options with Eric Garcia, Oscar Mingueza, Clement Lenglet, and Samuel Umtiti in the squad. The club have also reportedly agreed a deal for Andreas Christensen to arrive on a free transfer in the summer from Chelsea.
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Laporta Talks Araujo’s Future
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has opened up on contract talks involving Araujo and Gavi and has insisted both renewals are going well. Laporta told Mundo Deportivo both players want to stay at the Camp Nou.
“Well, this is on the right track. Yes, they are players that we want to continue, within these salary levels that we are establishing. We would like them to continue for many years,” he said. “Negotiations are underway and everything is going perfectly normally with Araujo and Gavi.”
Yet initial talks between Araujo and Barcelona have not yielded an agreement, as reported by ESPN. The Catalans have offered Araujo a deal worth €5 million annually but there is interest from Premier League clubs too.
Manchester United and Liverpool have made approaches and put offers on the table that “almost double Barca’s.” In order for Araujo to stay at Barcelona both sides “will need to give a little to reach an agreement.”
Laporta Sends Warning to Barcelona Players
The club president has also sent out something of a warning to players regarding salaries. Laporta made it clear the club continues to work within financial restraints and says there are no problems if players aren’t happy and do want to leave, as reported by Marca.
“They [the salaries] will all be based on parameters that everyone understands,” he explained. “I hope that they will adapt. It’s no problem if anybody doesn’t want to be here.”
Barcelona certainly won’t want to lose Araujo, who has already been compared to legendary former captain Carles Puyol, but the defender certainly won’t lack for admirers if he can’t agree an extension with the Catalans.