FC Barcelona

Xavi reveals Barcelona are prioritising new Ronald Araujo contract

Jude Summerfield
Araujo has broken into Barcelona's first team
Araujo has broken into Barcelona's first team / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages

Xavi says Barcelona are prioritising a new contract for defender Ronald Araujo, who has been linked with a move away from the club.

The Uruguayan's deal runs out in 2023 and Barça need to agree fresh terms with him, with Manchester United said to be 'pushing hardest' for his signature.

The 22-year-old is thought to have rejected a new contract as recently as January, with United's Premier League rivals Chelsea and Liverpool also monitoring his situation

Araujo is still on the same deal he was on back in his academy days - believed to be worth a measly £14,000 a year - but Barça's financial difficulties mean giving him a massive hike may not be feasible.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's clash with Atletico Madrid, Xavi said: “He is a priority. We are happy with his performance because he gives us a lot. He is a centre-back that is realistic.

“He is a person who is wanted from inside the dressing room and his renovation is prioritised.

“We are going to see if he and his representative get an agreement with the club.

“He is an important piece, of the present and future.”

Araujo has started 11 La Liga games so far this season, scoring twice, while he also featured prominently during the Catalan club's ill-fated Champions League venture.

He has faced competition for a starting XI place from Eric Garcia, who joined Barça from Manchester City last summer. Gerard Pique is still on the books at Camp Nou, though he has just turned 35 and will eventually be phased out.

Sunday's clash with Atletico Madrid could be pivotal in the race for Champions League qualification. Barça are a point behind Atleti, who currently occupy fourth place in La Liga.

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