Reputed Sky Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg has reported that Manchester United “have inquired” about the availability of 24-year-old Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo and been quoted a fee of €80m (£68.6m) by Barcelona. The Red Devils have requested information about the potential transfer fee that the Blaugrana would demand as well as details of the Uruguay international’s contract.
Defensive Reinforcements Required at Old Trafford
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With Raphael Varane’s contract ending this coming summer and the uncertainty surrounding the likes of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and the ageing Jonny Evans, Erik ten Hag appears to be scouring the market for a ball-playing centre-back more suited to his style of play, capable of playing out from the back more effectively than the aforementioned options currently at his disposal.
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Barcelona are currently eight points behind La Liga leaders Girona and are reeling from a damaging 4-1 defeat to arch-rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa final on January 14th. Furthermore, the Catalan giants have significant and Well-documented financial issues that could encourage them to sell premium assets for the right price.
Building for next season
Manchester United are looking to strengthen in all departments next summer and “star defender” Araujo would represent a significant upgrade in the defensive department. As mentioned in Plettenberg’s post, the Red Devils are rumoured to face significant competition from other clubs, notably reigning Bundesliga Champions Bayern Munich, who have inquired about his availability and whose coach Thomas Tuchel is a big fan of the defender.
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Whether Ten Hag succeeds in acquiring his target or not, it will be reassuring for Manchester United fans to see the club being proactive in scoping out potential incomings rather than scrambling around at the end of a transfer window.