Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd launch stunning Barcelona raid as Ratcliffe goes big; £68.9m bid tipped to be accepted

Barcelona stars Raphinha and Ronald Araujo

Manchester United have taken the first step towards signing a world class Barcelona star, while a report claims three more huge deals could be on the horizon as Sir Jim Ratcliffe aims to kick the new era off in style.

Ratcliffe’s purchase of a 25 percent stake in Man Utd was announced on Christmas Eve. The partial takeover is still awaiting Premier League approval, though Ratcliffe recently declared the green light should come no later than mid-February.

Ratcliffe will assume full sporting control at Old Trafford and his influence on transfers this month is already being felt.

Indeed, Fabrizio Romano revealed the option to buy Man Utd insisted be included in Hannibal Mejbri’s move to Sevilla was at the behest of INEOS.

Nonetheless, with United having little room for manoeuvre with regards to Profit and Sustainability rules, a quiet January window is expected.

That will all change come the summer, however, the Evening Standard reporting Ratcliffe is targeting four blockbuster signings.

Per the report, a right-back, centre-half, box-to-box midfielder and striker are all wanted.

Today’s update regards the centre-half chase, with Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg revealing the first step towards signing Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo has been taken.

Man Utd enquire about Araujo; Barcelona set price

Via X, Plettenberg revealed Man Utd have enquired into the move and Barcelona have let it be known the Uruguayan is valued at the €80m (£68.9m) mark.

A January move is out of the question for several reasons. Firstly, United cannot afford such an expensive deal this month, while Barcelona and Araujo are against a mid-season exit anyway.

However, the story could be different come the summer and it’s perhaps telling that Barcelona have already informed Man Utd of the magic number that can seal a deal.

Stiff competition will come from Bayern Munich who are also smitten with the 24-year-old. In fact, Plettenberg declared manager Thomas Tuchel “loves the player” who is Bayern’s “top target” for the summer.

Nonetheless, the chance to be a part of the exciting new era at Old Trafford could appeal. What’s more, Man Utd have proven themselves capable of paying far higher wages when compared to Bayern in the past.

Araujo was named in the LaLiga team of the season for the 2021/22 campaign and helped his side win LaLiga last term.

Injuries have been a concern throughout his young career, though when fit he remains one of world football’s most dominant centre-halves.

Other centre-backs Man Utd have drawn links with include Leny Yoro (Lille), Jean-Clair Todibo (Nice), Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton) and Giorgio Scalvini (Atalanta).

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