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Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo has put Manchester United and Chelsea on high alert after turning down a contract extension offer at the Nou Camp.
Araujo’s current deal is due to expire in the summer of 2023 and Barcelona are keen to tie the Uruguay international down to a new long-term contract.
According to Spanish outlet Marca, talks between the player’s agent and Barcelona took place last week but an initial contract offer was swiftly rejected.
However, the two parties are expected to return to the negotiating table this week.
Araujo wants to remain at Barcelona but only if he is offered a contract that 'aptly reflects his ability and performances', according to the report.
The versatile defender has been a regular starter this season, making 24 appearances in all competitions.
He has partnered Gerard Pique in central defence for the majority of the campaign but has also filled in at both left-back and right-back when required.
Barcelona sporting director Mateu Alemany is said to have made Araujo’s contract talks a priority, given the club’s struggles in defence in recent seasons.
Marca claim both Manchester United and Chelsea have been put on alert by Araujo’s initial contract rejection.
Chelsea could be in need of defensive reinforcements soon, with Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta all out of contract at the end of the season.
Rudiger and Christensen have stalled on signing new deals at Stamford Bridge, while Azpilicueta is in talks with Barcelona over a free transfer to the Nou Camp in the summer.
According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Barcelona are also interested in a move for Denmark international Christensen.
United, meanwhile, could also be short in central defence if Eric Bailly leaves the club this month.
Bailly has been strongly linked with a move to Roma, who are managed by former United boss Jose Mourinho.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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