Liverpool have seen their chances of signing Barcelona centre-back Ronald Araujo vanish before their eyes. The Reds were hoping to snap up the Uruguay international last summer to pair him up with Virgil van Dijk in their backline.
However, according to Spanish newspaper SPORT, Araujo rejected big-money approaches from Liverpool and Chelsea this year and he is now expected to be rewarded with a new contract for his loyalty. The report goes on to claim that Barca view him as a future club captain.
He is currently the Catalonian’s third-choice skipper behind Sergi Roberto and Marc Andre Ter-Stegen. Roberto originally held the same position as Araujo for two seasons before the departures of club legends Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets – and the 24-year-old is expected to move through the ranks at a similar rate.
Araujo signed a contract extension with Barcelona last summer until 2026 but is expected to put pen to paper on a new deal with improved terms.
Araujo is on similar money to when he first joined the club in 2018 due to the Spanish giant’s ongoing Financial Fair Play issues. He was offered much higher wages to go elsewhere but it is understood that he has heart set on staying at Camp Nou.
Speaking to ESPN after signing a new deal with Barca in April, Araujo insisted that his first choice was always to stay at Barca. “I am really happy and I am convinced that staying is the right decision because there are good years ahead for the club,” he said.
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“I was always certain I wanted to stay. There were big offers from abroad, but I’m happy at Barcelona. My family love it here and the fans and my teammates have always made me feel at home.
“I’m grateful for the effort the club have made. We all gave a little bit to reach an agreement, which is what we all wanted. [The Premier League interest] didn’t distract me at all. I was convinced what I wanted. It’s true money is a factor, but for me it’s not the most important thing. I am happy at Barcelona.”
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