If a report from Spanish outlet Super Deporte is to be believed, Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo could be closing in on a summer move to Premier League behemoths Manchester City.
The 23-year-old is set to enter the final year of his contract with the Blaugrana and talks over a new deal have not gone according to plans thus far. While both parties are keen on agreeing a contract, the Catalans are reluctant to meet the defender’s wage demands as things stand.
As per the report, Araujo is asking for a deal similar to that of fellow youngsters Pedri and Ansu Fati. However, Barça are unwilling to hand him the same deal, citing financial complications as the reason for their reluctance.
This contract standoff has been going on for a while, which had led to interest from the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal, who were understood to have presented the Uruguayan with much better contract proposals.
However, as per the report above, Manchester City have now emerged as a surprise destination for Araujo and are prepared to capitalise on his situation at Barcelona by offering him a way out in the summer.
It is further claimed that the Barça centre-back himself is excited by the prospect of playing alongside an accomplished defender like Ruben Dias at the Etihad Stadium, boosting the Premier League champions’ chances of landing him in the summer.
Barcelona, for their part, wish to extend Araujo’s deal, but on their terms. And, in case an agreement cannot be struck, they will not hesitate to sell the defender. They do not wish to enter the new season with him in the final year of his contract and risk losing him for nothing in 2023.
Despite the ex-Boston River ace being in the last 15 months of his deal, Barça believe that they can get a significant fee for him in the summer if an extension cannot be finalised.
A fresh meeting is scheduled over the next week as the Catalans try to sort out the situation. Whether it proves to be fruitful or pushes Araujo closer to the exit doors remains to be seen.
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