Liverpool have made contact with Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo and told him of the key role Jurgen Klopp wants to give him in the team, according to a report.
The 22-year-old is one of a number of shining lights at the La Liga club this season. Following a switch from big-money signings to a major focus on youth and homegrown talent, Araujo has proven his worth.
The Uruguayan, who has already made 53 outings for Barcelona, has become a key part of the team. In fact, head coach Xavi has reportedly made him a cornerstone of his side going forward.
Chelsea are also in the hunt for Araujo, who the Blues believe can give them vital attributes.
However, the Daily Mail, citing reports in Spain, have claimed that Liverpool have stepped up the chase for the centre-back.
Indeed, they have made contact with the player and his representatives, touching base over key areas.
Liverpool, led by sporting director Michael Edwards, have offered to double his wages to €6million (£5million) per year.
What’s more, on behalf of Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, they have given Araujo assurances over a key role at Anfield. The defender would reportedly be guaranteed regular action in Liverpool’s rotatable back line.
Liverpool targeting Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo after contract talks stall
Liverpool have reported interest in Barcelona centre half Ronald Araujo, with more news on Frenkie De Jong and Ousmane Dembele.
Ultimately, the ambition of a proper trophy hunt under Klopp has attracted the player’s attention.
Araujo feels ‘very happy’ at Barcelona, the report adds, but also ‘a little disappointed’ with the club’s current project. The La Liga club’s financial struggles have affected their fight for trophies.
However, Barcelona still want to convince him to stay as his contract runs out in the summer of 2023. If they cannot do so, they would want to sell him next summer to avoid the risk of losing him for free in 2023.
Although, Barca president Joan Laporta has reportedly not yet opened talks with the player. This is said to have made his agent ‘greatly upset’.
Potential Liverpool defender shake-up
Liverpool boss Klopp has learnt from the lessons of last season, when all three of his senior centre-backs suffered long-term injuries.
As such, Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate now regularly rotate alongside Virgil van Dijk. Joe Gomez and Nathaniel Phillips factor into that process too, but the former is currently out.
Adding Araujo to his ranks would bolster Klopp’s ranks as he looks to avoid another injury crisis.
However, fringe star Phillips has barely played this season and reports have claimed that Newcastle are eyeing a raid for him as they look to beef up their own ranks in January.