Liverpool, Chelsea stopped in their tracks after defender’s ‘orders’ to reject lucrative bids

Ronald Araujo next to the Liverpool and Chelsea badges

Liverpool and Chelsea failed to sign Ronald Araujo from Barcelona

Concrete interest from Liverpool and Chelsea in Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo has been revealed by a report claiming he could extend his contract in Catalonia.

According to Diario Sport, Araujo might be rewarded with a new deal by Barcelona, even though he only signed his most recent terms last year. The Uruguay international is establishing himself as one of the world’s best defenders and a leader for his current club.

Sport suggests there was serious interest from Liverpool and Chelsea before Araujo renewed with Barcelona in 2022. However, he is said to have given ‘orders not to listen’ to those proposals, despite both Premier League clubs being willing to put significant money on the table.

Liverpool did not sign any central defenders in the summer of 2022, whereas Chelsea brought in Kalidou Koulibaly (who has already left the club for Al Hilal) and Wesley Fofana (who is currently injured).

If any interest lingers from either party for Araujo, he now seems set to slip even further from their grasp, with Barcelona preparing (next year) to extend his contract beyond 2026 and also make him a future captain.

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Liverpool’s lack of investment at centre-back risks catching up with them like their midfield situation did, since they will need a long-term successor to Virgil van Dijk at some point and have struggled to settle on a consistent partner for him recently, despite Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all having their own merits when available.

Chelsea, meanwhile, went on to add Benoit Badiashile to their backline in January and his former Monaco teammate Axel Disasi in the summer, but there is a growing realisation, including from the man himself, of the fact that current defensive leader Thiago Silva will not be around forever.

Alternative ideas needed with Araujo out of reach

Only time will tell who else Liverpool and Chelsea look at if they feel the need to modify their defence any further. Araujo, though, has his heart set on becoming a Barcelona legend.

He originally joined the club’s B team in 2018 from Boston River in his native country, before earning a regular first-team role in 2020. Last season, Araujo became a La Liga champion.

He has now made more than 120 appearances for Barcelona, including nine this season.

At the age of 24, he is already performing at an elite level but may yet have the potential to develop even further, which Barcelona will be hoping to benefit from.

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