Chelsea are reportedly eyeing a summer swoop for Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo, who is valued at around €40 million.

According to El Nacional, Chelsea have retained their interest in Ronald Araujo. The reigning European champions were linked with a move for the young defender in the summer, but they were rebuffed by the player himself, as he wanted to continue at Barcelona.

However, almost halfway through the new season, Araujo is now starting to have doubts over Xavi’s project at Barcelona. Negotiations regarding a contract extension have also stalled for the time being, which has put Chelsea on red alert.

The report suggests that the Blues are prepared to take advantage of Barcelona’s sporting and economic crises to snap up Araujo next summer. The defender is valued at around €40 million by Joan Laporta, but that should not deter Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who is more than willing to meet the valuation.

Chelsea’s determination to sign Ronald Araujo next summer is not surprising at all, as the Barcelona starlet has emerged as one of the club’s best performers this season.

Standing at 1.88m, the Uruguayan has made a solid impression with his excellent physique and no-nonsense defensive attitude. He was a rotation player under Ronald Koeman, but since the appointment of Xavi, the youngster has emerged as an indispensable part of the Barcelona backline.

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Araujo has featured in a total of 16 competitive matches this season, starting every game under Xavi. However, the club’s disappointing results have put off the centre-back, especially after their elimination from the Champions League group stages earlier this week. He was among the worst performers as Bayern Munich hammered the Catalans 3-0 for the second time this season.

But the performance earlier this week has not deterred Chelsea, who are likely considering the 22-year-old as a direct replacement for Antonio Rudiger. The German international is unlikely to extend his contract at Stamford Bridge and has emerged as a top target for the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

There are also uncertainties regarding the long-term future of Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta, while Thiago Silva is destined to leave the club after the end of the season, as things stand. Christensen is incidentally a target for Barcelona, although the Catalans are set to face stiff competition from Real Madrid and Juventus.

As such, Chelsea are ready to go all out in the pursuit of Ronald Araujo in the summer. However, the Uruguayan international is not the only target for the Blues, and a lot will depend on how the player performs during the remainder of the current campaign with Barcelona.

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