Xavi ‘prioritising’ new deal for Man Utd, Liverpool target

Barcelona manager Xavi insists renewing Ronald Araujo’s contract is a “priority”, with Man Utd and Liverpool reportedly interested.

The Uruguay international joined Barcelona in 2018. He signed a five-year deal when he joined the club and made his senior debut in 2019.

Araujo has been a mainstay in Barcelona’s first team since the start of the 2020/21 campaign.

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The defender has played 61 times for the La Liga giants and his contract is due to expire in 2023.

His performances for Barca have attracted interest from a number of European clubs.

He has been linked with Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea in recent weeks after entering the final 18 months of his contract.

Blaugrana boss Xavi has expressed his desire for Araujo to extend his current deal, noting that the 22-year-old is a crucial player for the club’s ‘present and future’.

“Renewing Araujo is a priority,” he said (quotes via Fabrizio Romano). “He is an extraordinary defender.

Barcelona are planning to extend Ronald Araújo’s contract, Xavi confirms: “Renewing Araújo is a priority. He is an extraordinary defender”. #FCB

“For us it’s important to reach an agreement because he is a necessary player for the present and the future”, Xavi added. pic.twitter.com/ECD11xbVkf

— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 19, 2022

“For us it’s important to reach an agreement because he is a necessary player for the present and the future,” Xavi added.

The central defender has been more strongly linked to Liverpool and Man Utd recently, but Chelsea could reignite their interest in the summer if they are unable to renew a number of their defender’s contracts.

Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta are all out of contract at the end of the season and can now negotiate a pre-contract with foreign clubs.

Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Man Utd have been heavily linked with Rudiger.

Barcelona have are rumoured to be interested in both Christensen and Azpilicueta.

Last month, Spanish journalist Gerard Romero claimed Azpilicueta has an ‘agreement in principle’ with the Catalans.

He adds that ‘only a few personal issues can change the course of the operation’.

The 32-year-old, who joined Chelsea from Marseille nearly ten years ago, has won eight trophies in his time at Stamford Bridge, including the Champions League last term.

Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea have been relaxed about his contract situation, expecting the skipper to commit his future to the club with a short-term deal on the table.

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