Premier League • England

Boehly in dreamland as Chelsea open talks with Barcelona to sign quality Man Utd target

Todd Boehly has reportedly opened talks with Barcelona over a deal for Ronald Araujo

Todd Boehly has reportedly opened talks with Barcelona over a deal for Ronald Araujo

Barcelona have given the green light for Chelsea to begin discussions with Ronald Araujo over a summer transfer to Stamford Bridge and deliver what is a huge blow to Manchester United.

Manchester United had been well-placed to sign the Barcelona defender but have now seen their Premier League rivals jump the queue.

Both Chelsea and Manchester United want to firm up their backline in the summer and they have been targeting the same players in several instances.

Neither Chelsea nor Manchester United are heading into the transfer window particularly well-placed given the departure of Mauricio Pochettino from Stamford Bridge and the imminent sacking of Erik Ten Hag from his post at Old Trafford.

Manchester United do at least have Jason Wilcox installed as their new Sporting Director while Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS are on the verge of appointing Omar Berrada as their new CEO.

However, the initial offer that Manchester United put in for Araujo reportedly involved a swap deal plus cash with Bruno Fernandes said to be the player that they offered to Barcelona.

Barcelona looking to sell to fund a rebuild

Uruguay international Araujo may be joining Chelsea instead of Manchester United because, according to sources in Spain, Sporting Director deco, and Joan Laporta, have given the move the go-ahead after receiving an acceptable bid from the London club.

After a “disappointing” season at Camp Nou, Barcelona is prepared to “accept the sale of a player valued at 100 million euros,” with Araujo being one of the players on the “exit ramp.”

Araujo is “in pole position to become the club’s big sale,” and the Catalan giants “will have to get rid of those players who do not fit into its future plans to reduce the squad’s salary bill.”

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That potential £85m windfall from the sale of Araujo will go a long way to helping to fix the Catalan giants’ financial woes, as well as landing Chelsea a top-class replacement for departed veteran defender Thiago Silva.

Barcelona also find themselves in a period of transition after they made a U-turn of the future of head coach Xavi Hernandez.

In a somewhat shocking turn of events, Barcelona changed course on the direction of the club and announced that Xavi would leave the helm.

“The president of FC Barcelona, ​​Joan Laporta, announced this afternoon to Xavi Hernandez that he will not continue as coach of the first team in the 2024-25 season,” a statement from the club read.

“FC Barcelona would like to thank Xavi for his work as a coach, as well as his unparalleled career as a player and captain of the team, and wishes him all the luck in the world.

“Xavi Hernandez will lead his last game as first team coach this Sunday in Seville. In the coming days, FC Barcelona will inform about the new structure of the first team.”