EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Manchester United Target Ronald Araujo for Defense

Araujo

Manchester United are currently in the market for new defenders and one of the names that has cropped up is Ronald Araujo of Barcelona. Thus, Manchester United will need to invest in players that would join the team up in order to prepare for the next season, with or without Erik ten Hag for the next season of 2024/25. Report says that Manchester United are keen on Araujo who could depart Barcelona if he does not renew his contract in the near future.

Manchester United prepare a major squad overhaul. This year alone they have seen Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial move to other clubs and the rumours have it that Casemiro and others may also be on their way out. Manchester United need to strengthen its young generation. According to the Spanish sports daily, Sport, Araujo can be the Red Devils’ target.

Ronald Araujo: A Long-Time Target

Manchester United has been interested in Araujo for several years. Sources have it that Red Devils are ready to pay £68 million to sign Araujo from Barcelona in this summer transfer window. Manchester United’s management has identified the need to reinforce the team’s defense and Araujo is the perfect candidate to help in that regard.

Araujo signed for Barcelona in 2019 from Uruguayan team, Boston River, at a tender age of 19. Since then, he has played 150 games for Barcelona and also has 8 goals to his name. Arguably one of the most ferocious and passionate defenders, several leading clubs in Europe have showed interest in Araujo. Former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has gone further to refer to him as “extraordinary”.

Araujo is an all-rounder who can also play in the right-back position. Considering that Manchester United had problems with the squad depth last season, his ability to perform in several positions might be valuable. That is why, according to Sport, at the moment, it is unlikely that the team will sign Araujo. One of these is money. The Catalan club is demanding a high fee for Araujo, whose release clause stands at €1 billion, thus making it hard for United.

Financial Issues at Barcelona

Barcelona is facing financial difficulties, which might force them to sell some of their valuable players this summer to ease their fiscal burden. While Araujo is a prime candidate, other stars like Frankie de Jong, Raphinha, and Pedri might be sold first. Young talents like Pedri, Gavi, Pau Cubarsi, or Lamine Yamal are less likely to be put on the market.

Ronald Araujo’s contract with Barcelona expires in 2026. There are rumors that Barcelona might extend his contract to fend off interest from other clubs. Hansi Flick, who is reportedly planning a project around the Uruguayan star, might push for him to stay. However, a substantial bid from Manchester United could change the situation.

Manchester United’s Defensive Woes

Manchester United’s defensive issues were evident last season. Injuries to key defenders like Varane, Lisandro Martinez, and Victor Lindelof came at crucial times, leaving the team vulnerable. Veteran Jonny Evans and former captain Harry Maguire had to step in. Even youngster Willy Kambwala and midfielder Casemiro were used in defense during a crisis.

Strengthening the defense is a top priority for United to avoid such scenarios next season. Despite having one of the strongest defenses in the Premier League, the lack of cohesion affected their attack and overall results.

Manchester United’s interest in Ronald Araujo highlights their commitment to improve their defense for the upcoming season. Araujo’s skills and versatility make him an attractive option. However financial constraints and Barcelona’s plans for the player might complicate the transfer. As Manchester United continue their rebuild, securing a strong defender like Araujo could be key to their success in the 2024/25 season.

As featured on ManUNews.com

As featured on ManUNews.com

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