Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd ready ‘formal offer’ for Barcelona star as Ratcliffe target faces ‘now or never’ decision

Ben Stewart
Man Utd are looking at Ronald Araujo

Man Utd are looking at Ronald Araujo

Manchester United are ready to make a ‘formal offer’ for a Barcelona superstar, but the club faces an agonising wait to learn the player’s decision.

With Sir Jim Ratcliffe keen to oversee a rebuild at Old Trafford, the club are being linked with a number of big names ahead of the summer.

Man Utd seem keen on strengthening the spine of their squad and upgrading their defensive options is seemingly seen as a priority this summer.

With Raphael Varane likely to leave upon his contract expiring and the likes of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof facing uncertain long-term futures, a new central defender is high on Man Utd’s shortlist for the summer.

It’s no secret that the club have been keeping tabs on Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo and a recent update from Spain has provided the latest on the defender’s future.

According to Sport, Barcelona are working on extending Araujo’s contract and the defender is keen to stay at Camp Nou, although a key issue has arisen.

Barcelona want to extend Araujo’s contract until 2028 and while they can offer him a slight salary increase, they won’t be able to make him one of the club’s top earners.

Due to Barcelona’s ‘tight’ financial situation, the club considers it ‘impossible’ to offer Araujo a ‘top-level’ salary increase, despite the defender’s importance to the team.

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Man Utd lurking

While Araujo seems keen to stay at Barcelona, his head could be turned by lucrative offers from elsewhere. The report mentions that there are clubs willing to ‘duplicate’ Barcelona’s proposal and that this is a ‘now or never’ moment for the defender.

It’s stated that the Uruguayan will have the final say over his future as several top European clubs have taken an interest in the 25-year-old.

The report claims that Man Utd will present a ‘formal offer’ to Barcelona if Araujo’s entourage indicates that he has a ‘willingness to leave’.

Along with the Red Devils, the likes of Bayern Munich and Chelsea have also been linked with the Barcelona star in recent months.

If the Uruguayan star doesn’t agree upon a new contract, Barcelona will be forced to listen to offers for him in the summer.

According to TEAMtalk sources, there remains a strong chance Araujo could depart this summer and United’s interest in the defensive star is indeed genuine.

Xavi clearly wants the defender to stick around at Camp Nou, but the club could be forced to cash in on him, given their tricky financial situation.

“Ronald, I already said that he is a very important footballer for the present and the future of Barcelona,” Xavi told reporters last month. “I don’t see him anywhere else and he has to stay, 100%.”

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