Ronald Araujo's intentions for Barcelona future amid Man Utd interest

  • Araujo has established himself as one of Europe's best defenders under Xavi
  • Several top sides impressed by Uruguay international
  • Man Utd expected to pursue new defender in summer transfer window
Araujo is shining at Barcelona
Araujo is shining at Barcelona / Pedro Salado/GettyImages

Ronald Araujo has no plans to leave Barcelona in the coming months despite tentative interest from Manchester United, 90min understands.

The 24-year-old has established himself as one of Europe's finest centre-backs in recent years and scouts from a number of top sides have followed his development closely. Reports in Germany named Bayern Munich as suitors this winter and those same outlets have added United's name to the mix.

While United are admirers of Araujo, sources have confirmed to 90min that a transfer is currently unlikely for a number of reasons.

The primary stumbling block is Araujo's current happiness at Barcelona. He wants to stay and continue working with Xavi and Barca officials also have no desire to entertain offers, recognising his status as a key player for the team. An extension to his contract, which runs until 2026, is a real possibility.

United are not expected to pursue a centre-back this month either. Outgoings are the primary focus at Old Trafford, while a new striker will be looked at only if money can be freed up and the right target emerges in the next two weeks.

The summer window will likely bring a move for a new defender but Araujo is seen as a difficult target for United. Sources close to the situation have played down the prospect of a departure from Camp Nou.

Erik ten Hag
United will look for defensive reinforcements this summer / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

There are plenty of hurdles to overcome before United can start drawing up plans for the summer transfer window. The Red Devils are still awaiting the final completion of Sir Jim Ratcliffe's share purchase, at which point decisions will be made over the recruitment team responsible for United's transfer business.

On the pitch, United would also need a better idea of their Champions League prospects before trying to appeal to elite targets like Araujo. Erik ten Hag's side sit seventh in the Premier League as it stands and face a battle to qualify for Europe's top competition.

Should a move for Araujo remain challenging, United are unlikely to persist. Having wasted large parts of previous windows chasing Frenkie de Jong who, like Araujo, has never too actively looked to leave Barcelona, there is an awareness that they cannot afford to spend too long on targets who do not have a serious desire to move.

INEOS feel like Manchester United have been too invested in targets they can't attain and want to be more decisive in their decision-making. This is likely to lead to less long-running transfer sagas and more early business in windows going forward once a new recruitment team and structure is established.