Rio Ferdinand has urged Manchester United to sign Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo to bolster their vulnerable defensive unit.

Speaking on his Vibe with FIVE podcast, Rio Ferdinand has had his say on the centre-backs Manchester United should pursue to reinforce their shoddy defensive unit in the summer transfer window. The Manchester United legend particularly had two names in mind, one of whom is Barcelona ace, Ronald Araujo.

Rio Ferdinand spent the best years of his career with Manchester United, forming a central defensive partnership with Nemanja Matic at his peak, one which was indomitable on the players’ best days. The duo helped deliver several honours during their reign at the back, which coincided with Manchester United’s most successful era.

So when Ferdinand pinpoints a centre-back to possibly be a solution to the Red Devils’ woes at the back, his words hold a lot of weight. And while speaking on his Vibe with FIVE podcast, the Manchester United legend zeroed in on two central defenders for the Premier League bigwigs to pursue in the summer transfer window.

Incredibly, though, Ferdinand forgot one of the two players’ names, referring to Ronald Araujo as “the Uruguayan at Barcelona”. The Manchester United legend said, “For United, I would sign Marquinhos, and the guy…the Uruguyan at Barcelona.”

While it is incredulous that Ferdinand forgot Araujo’s name, the very fact that the Manchester United legend deems the Barcelona defender to be a solution for the Red Devils shows how far the 23-year-old has come in the last couple of years.

The Uruguayan international is arguably Barcelona’s most reliable defender. And according to widespread reports, Araujo features prominently on Manchester United’s radar, with the English giants even recently submitting a contract offer to him.

Manchester United’s defensive woes this season have been well-documented, with Harry Maguire being incredibly error-prone in his performances. And Araujo could be the long-sought solution at the heart of the Manchester United defence, although prising him away from Barcelona will not be straightforward.

While the young Uruguayan only has a little over a year remaining on his contract, Barcelona will be scrambling to tie him down to a bumper new contract in the coming weeks. Recent reports have also indicated that Araujo would prefer staying put at Barcelona, which further adds to the task at hand for Manchester United.

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