Arsenal

Arsenal ready to match Manchester United bid with double your money offer to Barcelona defender

The Gunners are prepared to double what Barcelona are offering and match a reported Manchester United bid to land Ronald Araujo, per the Spanish press.

Araujo, 23, has quickly developed into one of LaLiga’s finest defenders. The Uruguayan has featured heavily at centre-back this season, though his versatility has allowed him to operate in both full-back positions too.

Indeed, Araujo once again occupied the right-back berth as Barcelona took Real Madrid apart 4-0 in last weekend’s El Clasico. Araujo notched his fourth league goal of the season in the drubbing at the Bernabeu.

However, despite his importance to Xavi’s side, Araujo may find himself on the move in a coming window.

His issue stems from failing to receive a contract offer from Barcelona which he believes merits his worth.

The defender is understood to still be on the terms agreed when he arrived at the Camp Nou in 2018. Barcelona are attempting to tie him down to fresh terms, but their proposals thus far haven’t met Araujo’s requirements.

Araujo is believed to be courting a similar level of salary to those offered to Ansu Fati and Gavi. Those players are viewed as cornerstones of Barca’s future, and Araujo believes he’s on that level.

With contract talks now an an impasse, the prospect of Araujo being poached is becoming a very real one.

Indeed, Man Utd and Arsenal have both been linked with bringing the defender to England. Now, Spanish outlet ABC has provided an update on the latest state of play, with Arsenal reportedly ready to match United’s offer.

The Red Devils are understood to have readied an annual salary of €8m. That roughly equates to a weekly wage of £128,000.

Per ABC, that is double what Barcelona are offering (€4m), and the Spaniards are refusing to budge.

Arsenal are now deemed ready to match United’s €8m salary offer. The fact they may have Champions League football next season – and United might not – could aid their cause.

Regardless, prising Araujo away from Barca won’t be smooth sailing. From the player’s end, he is reportedly happy in Spain and would welcome staying at Barca – providing he gets the contract he wants.

Talk of Andreas Christensen’s impending move to Barcelona could be a sign the club’s decision-makers will continue to play hard ball. If the Uruguayan refuses to pen fresh terms, they will already have a suitable replacement coming in.

There is no indication as to what level of transfer fee it’d take to sign Araujo this summer. He is reportedly protected by a release clause of €200m (£167m). But with his contract expiring in 2023, he won’t command a fee anywhere close to that number.