Ronald Araujo is reportedly in contact with several Premier League clubs, including Chelsea, who are ready to offer the Barcelona defender a lucrative contract.

According to a report by Spanish publication SPORT, Ronald Araujo has become Chelsea’s priority target to replace Antonio Rudiger in the summer transfer window. The Blues are prepared to offer the Barcelona defender an attractive contract to prise him away from Camp Nou.

Ronald Araujo has established himself as one of the best defenders in La Liga since making his first-team debut for Barcelona over two years ago. Arguably Barcelona’s most reliable defender, the Uruguayan international has become a pivotal figure for club and country in the past year.

To date, the 22-year-old has turned out 63 times for Barcelona, with 24 appearances coming in the ongoing campaign. But Araujo has entered the final 18 months of his contract, putting several high profile clubs across Europe on alert over his potential availability.

The interest from Chelsea stems from the uncertainties surrounding the future of Antonio Rudiger. The German international has rejected the Blues’ advances over a new deal and recently knocked back their latest proposal. Rudiger’s precarious contract situation has forced Chelsea to enter the market for a centre-back.

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Several centre-backs have emerged on Chelsea’s radar, with Araujo becoming their preferred option to replace Rudiger, who has coincidentally been linked with Barcelona. And as per SPORT, the west Londoners are in contact with the Uruguayan defender to discuss the possibility of a summer transfer.

Araujo recently rejected Barcelona’s initial contract renewal offer, which was deemed insufficient to commit his long-term future to the club. Barcelona will also be wary of Chelsea’s presence in the equation, as the Premier League heavyweights can table a deal worth double what the Blaugrana had offered.

In addition to Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Manchester United are also keen on signing Araujo, thereby setting up a possible transfer battle for the summer. But Araujo prefers staying put at Barcelona and is hoping the club will offer him a substantially improved contract to commit his long-term future to the club.

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