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Chelsea add Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo to centre-back wish list — reports

All the centre backs in the world!

FC Barcelona V Benfica - Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Chelsea are reportedly monitoring Barcelona centre back Ronald Araujo’s situation, as per reports from ESPN Deportes and Mundo Deportivo. Araujo was signed by Barcelona in 2018 from Uruguayan side Boston River, and he made his debut for the Blaugrana senior team in 2019. Since then, he has gone on to become one of the stalwarts of the Barca defense, and has made 52 appearances for the La Liga side.

Barcelona consider Araujo to be one of the focal points of the team in the planned rebuild under new manager Xavi Hernandez. According to Diario Sport, they want to renew the 22-year-old’s contract that currently runs through 2023 and has a release clause of €200m.

However, negotiation talks haven’t been easy thus far due to interest from Premier League sides, with the Uruguayan’s salary demands higher than expected. Despite Araujo being happy at Barca, the English clubs in a position to make better financial offers to the player.

Barcelona expect to meet the 22-year-old’s agent in the coming days to reach a resolution over a new deal, and prevent his contract from reaching its last year, but their stance has been weakened by the fact that Araujo’s primary supporter, Ramón Planes, decided to leave his position as Barcelona’s technical secretary. The Spanish club want to prevent another Ilaix Moriba situation, who departed Camp Nou on the cheap this past summer.

Chelsea’s interest in Araujo stems from the fact that all of Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rüdiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva have expiring contracts. However, we will also face competition from Manchester United and Liverpool for the Uruguay international’s signature.

With Sevilla now demanding Jules Kounde’s €80m release clause to be paid in full for any transfer to go through, Araujo could be a much-cheaper alternative to reinforce our backline.