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Man Utd chase Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo

Last Updated on by James King

It is understood that Manchester United could be tracking another defender in January, following the sensational summer arrival of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid.

As a result, reports have linked the club with Barcelona’s Uruguayan hotshot, Ronald Araujo, who has shown he is adept at operating at both centre-back and right-back.

At 22, he is being tipped as one for the future, capable of developing into one of the best defenders in the world over the next few years and with Barcelona still in financial difficulty, following the effects of the global pandemic, United are looking to pounce.

Man Utd chase Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo


A bid being readied by United chiefs

Interim boss Ralph Ragnick is believed to have identified the Uruguayan as someone who can make a difference and the United board are keen to take advantage of the situation at Barcelona who still need to carefully balance their books, especially after the £55 million arrival of Ferran Torres from Manchester City.

One of the last times that United spent on their backline in the January transfer window was under the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson, bringing in Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic who developed into one of the best left-backs and centre-backs (respectively) of their generation.

If, as anticipated, Barcelona accept a £30 million bid (some way short of the player’s value), then United will have pulled off another sensation deal, particularly given the potential of the Uruguayan.


New rearguard in the making?

Should Araujo arrive at Old Trafford it may put the writing on the wall for at least one of the club’s current centre-backs – likely Eric Bailly, despite question marks over the patchy form of England international Harry Maguire.

Varane was bought to start in the summer, especially given the player’s decorated history and pedigree, which means that it could see a new partnership fashioned between the former Los Blancos man and Araujo.

Or, it could see Ragnick switch to a back three – something that former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer unsuccessfully experiment with during his tenure.

After spending over £120 million in the summer on Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo, United were not expected to enter the transfer market in January, however, they have fallen some way behind rivals Man City and Liverpool in the title race and seemingly need reinforcements.