Liverpool will be delighted to hear that reported target, Ronald Araujo, has rejected a new Barcelona contract amid reports the Reds have made him an offer.
His contract expires in just over 17 months’ time and so both he and Barcelona will be keen to find a solution and that seems most likely to be a summer departure as things stand but only time will tell if he moves to the Premier League.
The 22-year-old has been linked with a move to Anfield multiple times this month despite Jurgen Klopp’s impressive depth at centre-back.
Jurgen Klopp requests Araujo, Liverpool make offer, contract gets rejected
At the start of the month, El Nacional claimed the German manager personally asked FSG to sign Araujo and the owners reportedly responded by making the defender a salary offer that “cannot be matched by Barça”.
Sport followed up on the story by claiming that Liverpool are ready to agree lucrative terms to sign the aggressive centre-back.
Mundo Deportivo corroborated Liverpool’s interest in the 22-year-old a few days after the report from Sport on the 19th of January, claiming they have ‘concrete’ interest while they also stated that Manchester United are attracted to the 1.88m centre-back.
Now, it’s reported by Marca that Araujo has rejected an offer from Barcelona to extend his contract at Camp Nou and if the reports mentioned above are to be believed, it could be that the ‘irrefutable’ offer made by Merseysiders has turned the Uruguayan’s head.
Signing Araujo in the summer would suggest centre-back departure first
Araujo is an entertaining defender even if I have yet to see signs that he can reach a top-class level but if Liverpool are interested in him, they must see value in his performances that I’m missing.
That said, his potential arrival would indicate that Liverpool plan to sell a centre-back and I wouldn’t include Nathaniel Phillips in that.
The English defender is fifth choice and is free to leave so long as Liverpool’s £15million valuation is met.
Joe Gomez currently seems the most likely to leave. On one hand, his injury problems have disrupted his ability to become a fixture in the Liverpool starting XI and although he is free from injury this season, he has been left on the bench for most games.
In all competitions, the 24-year-old has only appeared for a total of 440 minutes with just 12 of those coming in the Premier League.
The writing may be on the wall or Liverpool may just be easing a historically injury-prone player back into the side.
Nobody benefits from the former Charlton Athletic starlet being rushed back into the team if it means he gets injured again.
I would be very disappointed if he was sold but I can’t imagine he is happy with sitting on the bench behind Joel Matip and the arrival of Ibrahima Konate makes it even trickier to break back into the side.
Claims suggest a bid is expected this week for the Englishman as Liverpool will need to fight to hold onto him before the month is over.