Mikel Arteta on reasons behind Arsenal's excellent form
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Arsenal have reportedly entered the race to sign Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo. Manchester United have been strongly linked with a move for the Uruguay international in recent months.
Araujo is out of contract at Barca at the end of next season. He has become a key player at the back for Xavi and the club are understandably keen to extend his current deal.
However, they are yet to come to an agreement and a sale could be more likely if he enters the final 12 months of his contract. United are set for another trophyless season after crashing out of the Champions League to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
The Red Devils are likely to look to the transfer market to strengthen their squad. Araujo is one of the names they are already being linked with.
But it appears they could face competition from rivals Arsenal. Spanish journalist Gerard Romero says the Gunners have submitted a contract proposal to Araujo worth around £5million a year.
United are also claimed to have made an offer to the 23-year-old. Romero says United are prepared to pay the player around £6.7m per year.
The Red Devils’ offer is clearly better financially for Araujo. But Arsenal’s hopes may depend on whether they qualify for next season’s Champions League.
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Arsenal are currently fourth in the Premier League table, a point clear of United in fifth. However, Mikel Arteta’s side have three games in hand over Ralf Rangnick’s, starting with the visit of Liverpool on Wednesday evening.
Like a lot of players, Araujo may prefer to join a side competing in Europe’s elite club competition. Arsenal currently have three central defenders in their first-team squad.
Ben White and Gabriel have formed a successful partnership at the back, with Rob Holding deputising at times this season. They are set to welcome William Saliba and Pablo Mari back from their respective loan spells this summer.
Signing Araujo would undoubtedly lead to speculation over the future of at least one Gunners centre-back. United, meanwhile, could reportedly look to sign Araujo as a replacement for captain Harry Maguire.
Maguire has faced strong criticism for his performances this season. Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher warned the England star over his future at Old Trafford following the defeat to Atletico on Tuesday.
Carragher told CBS Sports: “This is something that Harry Maguire is going through right now and he has to get out of it very quickly otherwise he won’t be at the club because the standards at Manchester United are so high.”
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