Manchester United are better placed to sign Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo this summer, Spanish publication Marca reports.
The Uruguayan’s future has been regularly speculated since the turn of the year with his contract expiring in just over 15 months’ time.
Barcelona have yet to make any progress over a renewal, and according to Marca, the centre-back has now snubbed a fresh proposal.
This could pave the way for his summer exit. United are reportedly ‘better placed’ to sign him, having made first contact for his services.
Chelsea have also been credited with an interest, but they are currently not exploring any summer signings amid talks over a takeover.
Araujo has made immense progress at the Catalan giants. He has developed into a solid defender, who has impressed with his concentration.
The 23-year-old has averaged just 1.1 tackles per league game, but has excelled with his ability to win ground and aerial duels with good effect.
Meanwhile, his distribution has also been effective with an accuracy of 89 per cent. On paper, his statistics are only slightly better than Harry Maguire’s.
However, the Uruguayan is much more composed around his own box unlike Maguire, who has been prone to positional and unforced errors this term.
United could bring him as a potential replacement for Maguire in the line-up, but they could also see him as a possible candidate for the right-back spot.
Both Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot have shared minutes from the role this term, but neither have made any meaningful goal contributions thus far.
Araujo is not a natural from the position, but has been transformed by manager Xavi Hernandez. He has bagged two goals from six outings at right-back.
The defender is currently valued at £36 million by Transfermarkt. A similar fee could be sufficient to land him this summer if the contract stand-off continues.