Euro Paper Talk: Barcelona eye Bundesliga star Rangnick knows well to soften Man Utd raid blow

Ralf Rangnick, Darren Fletcher, Chris Armas Man Utd v Brighton February 2022

Barcelona are ready to soften the blow of a Manchester United raid after finding a successor, while Chelsea hijack a Newcastle deal – both in all the latest Euro Paper Talk.

BARCELONA FIND RONALD ARAUJO SUCCESSOR

Manchester United are one of the strongest suitors for centre-back Ronald Araujo, for whom Barcelona have now reportedly identified a successor.

The Red Devils have had links with the 22-year-old Uruguay international for some time now. What’s more, Chelsea and Liverpool are supposedly monitoring his progress.

Araujo, who moved to Barcelona in 2018, has risen to become a vital part of head coach Xavi’s long-term plan. However, he may not be at Camp Nou for the long-term amid his contract situation.

His deal expires at the end of next season and Barcelona have made his extension a top priority. At the same time, though, United and Chelsea have both reportedly sent tempting salary offers to the star and his camp.

According to the latest from German newspaper Bild (via Sport Witness), Barcelona are beginning to seriously plan for Araujo’s exit.

Indeed, the La Liga giants have identified Borussia Monchengladbach’s Matthias Ginter as their top target to replace him.

Ronald Araujo to leave Barcelona for Manchester United or Chelsea

Ronald Araujo will leave Barcelona for Chelsea or Manchester United if no contract from Barca

The 28-year-old Germany international sees his contract runs out this summer. As such, his summer signing would follow Barcelona’s recent model of effective free transfers.

United interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who used to work at Monchengladbach’s Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig, knows the 46-cap international well. Ginter rose through the ranks at Freiburg before moving to Dortmund in 2014. He spent three years there before signing for Monchengladbach.

Overall, he has made 282 Bundesliga appearances and would also provide international, as well as top-flight experience to Barcelona.

Bild adds that while there is ‘great interest’ in Araujo from England, United are an ‘especially’ strong suitor.


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AND THE REST FROM EURO PAPER TALK

Hugo Ekitike Stade Reims

Chelsea are rivalling Newcastle and Borussia Dortmund for the signing of Reims striker Hugo Ekitike, who the Magpies almost signed in January. (Bild)

Barcelona and Dortmund are both looking at a deal for Ajax right-back Noussair Mazraoui. The 24-year-old has failed to agree a new contract and will therefore become a free agent. (Fabrizio Romano)

Newcastle have rekindled transfer interest in RB Salzburg striker Noah Okafor for the summer following the Swiss star being a January target. (Bild)

West Ham are also after a Salzburg player, with right-back Rasmus Kristensen on their radar. (Bild)

AC Milan have identified Roma’s Jordan Veretout as a midfielder transfer alternative to Lille’s Renato Sanches. (Gazzetta dello Sport)

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LAST 16 REACTION

Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring for Paris Saint-Germain

Kylian Mbappe has insisted that he has not decided on his future yet following his winner for Paris Saint-Germain in Tuesday’s Champions League last 16 clash against Real Madrid. (Movistar)

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino enjoyed the celebrations – but not fearing that he had broken his nose after the wild celebrations from Leandro Paredes. (Goal)

Meanwhile, Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti admitted that his side struggled with PSG’s press in midfield. (Sport Mediaset)

Madrid president Florentino Perez is now thinking of sacking Ancelotti, with some club chiefs tired of his methods. As a result, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Pochettino are on Perez’s radar. (Sport)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said that while his side’s 5-0 over Sporting was a “fantastic” game, his side could have performed better. (ESPN)

EURO PAPER TALK – TOTTENHAM EYE SERIE A RAID

Victor Osimhen Stefan De Vrij TEAMtalk

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte is still keen on a deal for Inter defender Stefan de Vrij. (InterLive)

Juventus have made Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester United-linked Roma winger Nicolo Zaniolo a firm summer transfer target. However, the Turin club would need to sell Weston McKennie first. (Tuttosport)

Fenerbahce president Ali Koc has held a meeting with Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa about a move to Turkey. (Fotomac)

Meanwhile, Leeds could go after a summer deal for New York City FC forward Valentin Castellanos. (La Pagina Millonaria)

Bournemouth and Watford are showing interest in RKC Waalwijk star Ahmed Touba, but Lyon are among the other clubs chasing the Algeria international. (Foot Mercato)

Former Swansea striker Michu has backed his good friend Erling Haaland to leave Dortmund for Barcelona this summer. (AS)