Manchester United have been handed a major transfer boost with Barcelona reportedly struggling to convince Ronald Araujo to sign a new deal. Araujo has become a key player under Xavi, but has entered the final 18 months of his contract at the Nou Camp.
The Uruguayan has made 26 appearances so far this season and has been one of Barca’s most reliable players.
In fact, he has played so well that star summer signing Eric Garcia has struggled to displace him from the starting line-up.
But despite his importance this season, Xavi is facing up to the very real possibility of losing him within the next 18 months.
Araujo’s contract expires in the summer of 2023, with Manchester United understood to be among the clubs eyeing a move.
Amid that interest, Barcelona have been attempting to tie the defender down to a new contract, but that is something they are struggling to do.
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Araujo has so far rebuffed Barcelona’s offers of a new deal and will continue to do so until the terms are ‘significantly improved’.
Two matters are impeding the Catalan giant’s ability to meet the Uruguayan international’s wage demands.
The first is the precarious state of their finances, with Barca still in a mountain of debt and having seen their salary cap cut by La Liga.
While club chiefs insist that their finances are restricting them, Araujo is said to be aware that they were still able to make four signings in the January transfer window.
That puts Barcelona in a challenging place in their negotiations as the defender seeks what would be a deserved wage increase.
But also complicating the talks is the fact that Barca themselves are unconvinced that Araujo suits the style of Xavi’s sporting project.
Araujo is renowned as being a more conventional centre-back, which does not suit Xavi’s passing philosophy.
The fact he is keeping Garcia out of the team will be a concern to club chiefs who pushed to sign the Spaniard last season, but Xavi will be unwilling to lose a solid defensive option in Araujo.