Defender Julian Araujo addressed recent transfer rumors linking him to Liga MX, confirming contact with Club America before insisting he remains 'focused with LA Galaxy' at the moment.
The Mexico City team inspired reports after head coach Fernando Ortiz teased the possible arrival of a Mexican right back ahead of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura. The Eagles were chasing Julian Araujo and Diego Barbosa, in particular.
The LA Galaxy player has since confirmed talks were held with Club America, but denied an immediate move.
“Yeah, there was contact [with Club America], but I am here with the Galaxy. I’m getting ready to go back to pre-season,” he said in an exclusive interview with 90min. “So I leave those things to my agent to handle, but I am focused on preparing for the season, getting ready and most importantly improving each and every day.”
The defender has quickly proven himself as one of the brightest young talents in Major League Soccer, becoming an integral part of LA Galaxy and earning appearances with the Mexican national team.
He first kicked off professionally in 2019, and has since managed one goal and 20 assists in 100 Major League Soccer games for the Western Conference team. In 2022 alone, he recorded nine assists and 14 goals scoring attempts.
Given Araujo’s rapid nature on the ball and ability to transition from right-back to offensive winger, it’s not the first time an international club looks to the defender for reinforcement.
In August, FC Porto came forward as the frontrunner to sign the player, eyeing the LA Galaxy defender as a possible reinforcement for the 2022/2023 season. The team held talks with the player, but no deal was completed.
Though the defender has yet to make the jump from MLS, he reaffirmed his commitment to playing abroad.
“I definitely want to go to Europe. It’s still my dream. That’s where I think I need to go to reach my highest potential. The sky's the limit,” he said to 90min.
“But right now, I am focused on the Galaxy, winning the championship, performing at my best and staying consistent. You know, God’s timing is the best, so I am going to wait for that. And when that time comes, I will be ready for it.”
Julian Araujo and the LA Galaxy will kick off the 2023 MLS season on February 25 against LAFC at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.