Man Utd ‘offers’ £69m to Barcelona for star as Ratcliffe sets transfer budget at £256m

Joe Williams
Man Utd transfer target Ronald Araujo
Ronald Araujo has been linked with Man Utd.

Man Utd have made an offer to Barcelona for defender Ronald Araujo as they look to strengthen their defence ahead of the summer, according to reports.

Recent reports indicated that the Red Devils are willing to listen to offers for any of their squad apart from Alejandro Garnacho, Kobbie Mainoo and Rasmus Hojlund, in order to raise money for summer transfers.

By selling players, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS are hoping to get rid of deadwood and bring in some young, hungry players capable of taking Man Utd back to competing for Premier League titles in the near future.

Ratcliffe and INEOS have already moved to bring in Omar Berrada as their new CEO from the summer onwards, while Jason Wilcox has joined from Southampton as their technical director.

They are still eyeing Newcastle’s Dan Ashworth as their new sporting director but they are struggling to come to an agreement with the Geordies over a compensation package.

And with the help of their new team, INEOS are hoping to build a squad capable of challenging for league titles with defence one of the main areas they are concentrating their recruitment efforts.

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Raphael Varane will now reportedly leave Man Utd on a free transfer in the summer, while both Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have been linked with moves away from Old Trafford.

And that means Man Utd are on the lookout for a new centre-back with Barcelona’s Araujo one of the names rising to the top of their list, along with Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite.

Speaking a week ago, La Liga and Serie A insider Matteo Moretto gave an update on Araujo’s future, he wrote in his Caught Offside column: “As we have been reporting since the start of the year, Ronald Araujo has not yet reached an agreement with Barcelona to extend his contract, and if important offers arrive in the summer, the Blaugrana will consider doing a deal.

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“We revealed last week that Bayern Munich are not actively pursuing a deal as things stand, contacts between the German side and Araujo’s camp are stagnant. There are Premier League teams interested in his situation, such as Manchester United, but as of today there is no negotiation between the Red Devils and the Uruguayan. When I say this, I’m referring to enquiries and nothing more.

“Barcelona and ​​Xavi Hernandez really like Joshua Kimmich, who has a year left on his deal this summer, but I cannot speak to any talk of him being part of a player swap.”

Man Utd ‘offers’ £69m for Ronald Araujo

And now Spanish publication Nacional insist that has ‘offered’ €80m (£69m) for Araujo but Barcelona sporting director Deco is holding out for €100m.

Man Utd are back in for the centre-back after Erik ten Hag ‘requested this operation’ in 2022 ‘and asked that they do everything possible to sign the Uruguayan star, although at that time they could not do anything to convince him, and he chose to remain at the Camp Nou.’

But ‘things have changed radically’ since then and ‘now there are many doubts’ about his continuation at Barcelona and, although they are open to a sale, ‘they will not settle for less than €100m’.

A previous report has claimed that Ratcliffe has already set the Man Utd transfer budget for the summer at €300m (£256m).

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