Liverpool open talks with Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo

    Liverpool transfer target Ronald Araujo looks on during Barcelona's La Liga clash with Villarreal
    Ronald Araujo and his family have held talks with Liverpool (Picture: Getty)

    Liverpool are reportedly in talks to sign Ronald Araujo and have offered to double the defender’s current wages at Barcelona to lure him to Anfield.

    Araujo is out of contract in 2023 and Barca are yet to enter into negotiations with the highly-rated centre-back regarding a possible renewal.

    The Catalan giants therefore risk losing Araujo on a free transfer if they fail agree a new deal with the 22-year-old in the next 12 months and the Premier League’s elite are beginning to circle.

    Chelsea have placed Araujo on their transfer shortlist and are closely monitoring developments, with uncertainty growing over the future of both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

    However, it appears Liverpool have jumped to the front of the queue for Araujo’s signature as Jurgen Klopp scours the market for defensive reinforcements to ease the pressure on Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez.

    According to Spanish publication El Nacional, a newspaper based in Barcelona, Liverpool are in discussions with Araujo and his family and are ready to pay the Uruguay international twice what he earns (salary of less than €500,000) at the Camp Nou.

    It’s claimed Araujo ‘does not feel valued’ and has long been demanding an improvement on his current contract given he is one of the lowest paid players in Xaxi’s first-team squad.

    The Reds have promised Araujo he would be starting regularly and fighting for major honours both domestically and in Europe should he swap Catalonia for Merseyside.

    The report adds that Araujo has no intention of forcing his way out of Barcelona, but the proposal from Liverpool is said to be ‘very attractive’ to the centre-half.

    Ronald Araujo looks on during Barcelona's clash with Benfica
    The Uruguayan is out of contract in 2023 (Picture: Getty)

    Araujo came on as a late substitute for Barca in Xavi’s first game in charge against Espanyol and the youngster has started the side’s two matches versus Benfica and Villarreal in the Champions League and La Liga respectively.

    He will hope to continue his run in the starting XI this weekend when the Blaugrana entertain Real Betis, with the club looking to propel themselves up the table from seventh place.

    Ronald Araujo chats with Xavi during Barcelona's Champions League clash with Benfica
    Araujo has impressed newly-appointed Barca boss Xavi (Picture: Getty)

    Xavi is keen to resolve Araujo’s future and praised the Uruguayan’s ‘excellent character’ after an impressive performance in Barca’s goalless draw with Benfica.

    ‘I’m very happy to have Ronald on the team, he has such a great personality,’ he told reporters.

    ‘He celebrates everything and to have that type of profile as a defender, to be so engaged with the team, and celebrate everything is hard to find.

    ‘We welcome him with open arms because it’s spectacular to see him train.

    ‘He’s so positive, he has an excellent character and that’s key.’

    MORE : Michael Owen believes Chelsea have a weaker starting XI than Manchester City and Liverpool

    MORE : Everton owner Farhad Moshiri speaks out on Rafa Benitez’s future after Liverpool defeat

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