Things have been a bit shambolic (relatively speaking of course) at Barcelona for some time now, but they appear to be heading in a better direction under new manager Xavi, and do have several young and talented players around whom they can build their next cycle of success.
But two of those players, 19-year-old Pedri and 22-year-old Ronaldo Araújo are into the final 18 months of their contracts, and while Barcelona would be patently silly to let them walk in any circumstance, keeping an eye on them just in case would behoove any top European team, including us.
And that’s the story from Marca this weekend, who name both Chelsea and Manchester United as having “made sure” that Araújo is aware of said interest, and also “how far they’re willing to go to secure his services” — i.e. how much higher of a wage he could earn. Real Madrid also get a mention.
Araújo has over 60 senior appearances for Barcelona under his belt already, having been ever present this season save for a couple minor injuries. Tall and strong, the Uruguay international isn’t the prototypical La Masia-type, preferring a more old-school approach to defending, which could fit very well in the Premier League indeed. Should the opportunity arise — or the need, given our own contractual conundrums — Chelsea might do well to turn monitoring into real action.