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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Chelsea plotting move for Barcelona defender amid january transfer

  Chelsea have registered a strong interest in Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo and are ready to make a move to land the defender next summer, acco...

 

Chelsea have registered a strong interest in Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo and are ready to make a move to land the defender next summer, according to reports in Spain.

Araujo, 22, joined Barcelona on a five-year contract from Uruguayan outfit Boston River back in 2018 and has since made 53 appearances in all competitions for the La Liga giants. The centre-half has entered into the final two years of his contract, though, and Barca are keen to tie him down with an extension amid mounting attention from some of the Premier League’s elite.

Araujo earns significantly less than most of his team-mates in Catalonia and there are growing fears at the Camp Nou he could have his head turned should he receive a lucrative offer from overseas.

Spanish publication Sport indicates both Liverpool and Chelsea have been keeping close tabs on Araujo and are poised to ‘take the next step’ at the end of the season when he will have just 12 months remaining on his current deal. The report claims Chelsea have an ‘enormous interest’ in signing Araujo largely due to his physical characteristics, with the Uruguay international an imposing figure standing at 6 ft 2 in.

Barca are prepared to go into battle for Araujo and Mateu Alemany, recently appointed as director of football, intends to speak with the centre-back’s agent as soon as possible regarding a renewal. The Spanish giants are aware Araujo is likely to be offered higher wages in England, but hope to convince the sought-after youngster he has a future at the club under new head coach Xavi.

Araujo – who has been capped five times by the Uruguay national team – came off the bench in Xavi’s first game in charge against Espanyol and has started Barca’s last two matches versus Benfica and Villarreal. He will no doubt be desperate to continue his run in the side this weekend when the Blaugrana – who are languishing down in seventh in La Liga – play host to Real Betis.

‘I’m very happy to have Ronald on the team, he has such a great personality,’ Xavi told the media following Araujo’s impressive performance against Benfica in the Champions League. ‘He celebrates everything and to have that type of profile as a defender, to be so engaged with the team, and celebrate everything is hard to find.

‘We welcome him with open arms because it’s spectacular to see him train. ‘He’s so positive, he has an excellent character and that’s key.’

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