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EXCLUSIVE: Manchester United interested in signing 25yr-old Barca defender this summer as Red Devils look to solve defensive problems

Manchester United are interested in signing Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo who has emerged as one of the club’s primary targets this summer and they are willing to spend big on the Uruguayan.

The Red Devils have long been interested in the 25-year-old and made an approach for him in 2022 but the defender decided to stay at the Camp Nou.

Manchester United remain keen on Araujo, though, and are ready to make an enormous offer for him this summer, willing to out-bid Bayern Munich, who are also interested.

Spanish publication Sport report that Bayern are willing to pay €80m (£67m) for the Uruguay international but Manchester United will go further than that if they need to for his signature.

Araujo’s contract at Barcelona runs until 2026 and he is in talks with the club over extending the deal, but he will be offered much more by Manchester United.

Barca want to keep him, but also realise that he may be their most valuable asset that they are willing to sell this summer as their financial struggles continue.

Manchester United are targeting a new centre-back as part of their summer transfer plan, with Raphael Varane likely to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season.

The Frenchman’s contract expires at the end of the campaign and the club has not taken up their option to extend it by a further 12 months, meaning his exit seems certain at this stage.

Lisandro Martinez has been plagued by injury this season, while the long-term futures of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof at Old Trafford are far from certain.

36-year-old Jonny Evans has been a surprisingly regular face in the first team this season, making 25 appearances in all competitions, while 19-year-old Willy Kambwala has also been drafted in for seven Premier League appearances.

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