Report: Club struggling to get their 'excellent' player to sign a new contract, after strong links with Chelsea

Chelsea-linked Ronald Araujo has reportedly come to a standstill with Barcelona in terms of signing a fresh contract.

According to The Athletic, talks between the player’s representatives and the Camp Nou chain of command are underway, yet there remains some distance between the two parties and an agreement ‘is not close’.

What’s going on with Aruajo?

Araujo’s contract expires in June 2023, which might seem like a long time for Barca to build a bridge of trust, but it will swoop around sooner than expected.

Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Chelsea know this all too well, as they are still facing the prospect of losing Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and/ or Cesar Azpilicueta over the summer.

Like the three Stamford Bridge centurions, Araujo has become a vital part of the Catalonian’s rear-guard.

It didn’t take long for the 22-year-old to establish himself under Ronald Koeman, following his move from River Boston in 2018.

“I think he’s having an excellent season,” said the former Barca boss about the young centre-back last May.

Barca’s bruised jewel

Regardless of Koeman’s exit, the Uruguayan international remains a key component in Xavi’s rebuild of his beloved club.

This is despite the defender not fitting the profile of a typical La Masia talent.

“Their centre-backs are all good at bringing the ball out from the back, like Eric Garcia. That is not Arajuo’s best quality,” said one Athletic source.

Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

However, the Spaniards are noticeably weakened when Araujo is out of the side.

A scenario they could be facing for a while after the centre-half sustained a calf injury on Sunday against Espanyol.

He has already missed several games this season through a hamstring problem.

Barca only won two of the five fixtures without the side-lined star.

These repeated trips to the treatment room might ward off potential buyers, including Chelsea, who have apparently already made a strong offer to recruit Araujo.

Thomas Tuchel has been battling with a consistent cycle of damaged soldiers this term.

He really doesn’t need another bandaged warrior to add to his worries.  

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.