Barcelona have reportedly rebuffed a bid worth €30 million from Manchester United for 22-year-old Uruguayan defender Ronald Araujo.

According to a report by Catalan outlet El Nacional, Manchester United’s first concrete offer for Ronald Araujo has been knocked back by Barcelona. The Catalan giants are scrambling to tie the 22-year-old defender down to a new contract, with his current deal expiring in 18 months.

Ronald Araujo has come leaps and bounds since joining Barcelona from Boston River in August 2018. After initially making slow progress in the setup in place at the club, the Uruguayan centre-back has established himself as the most dependable defender in the Blaugrana’s first-team squad.

The 22-year-old has made 61 appearances to date for Barcelona, with 22 of those coming in the ongoing season. Araujo’s progress has not gone unnoticed, and with his Barcelona contract expiring in less than 18 months, several European bigwigs, including Manchester United, have set their sights on him.

The interest from Manchester United comes in the wake of Harry Maguire’s inconsistent displays in the ongoing campaign. With Raphael Varane encountering a spate of fitness issues this season, the club’s need to sign a centre-back at the earliest opportunity has become urgent.

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Araujo is thus a viable target for Manchester United, with the 22-year-old being a potential long-term solution at the heart of their defence. To that end, the Red Devils have already submitted the first bid to try and prise him away from Barcelona, with a €30 million offer reportedly lodged.

But Barcelona’s priority is to tie Araujo down to a new contract instead of letting one of their most prized possessions leave anytime soon. In addition to Manchester United, the Uruguayan defender’s uncertain contract situation has also captured the attention of arch-rivals Real Madrid, as per recent reports.

The Merengues will be closely monitoring his contract situation in the hope of signing him on a free transfer in the summer transfer window of 2023. Chelsea and Liverpool are also competing with Manchester United, although each of his suitors will need to pay much more than €30 million to turn Barcelona’s head. For now, the Catalan giants continue to scramble to secure the 22-year-old’s long-term future.

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