Chelsea want Araujo
According to various reports, Chelsea have added Barcelona’s central defender Ronald Araujo to their list of transfer targets this summer. The reports state that The Blues still want to sign Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, but they want to add one more central defender to their squad. Wesley Fofana, who is one of the targets, is currently injured. The London club will have to wait and see how he does after returning from a long-term injury. Thankfully, he is set to return to training this February. They have now added Araujo to their list with his contract expiring in 18 months.
The Uruguayan center-half has been the best defender at the Catalan club this campaign with Gerard Pique in visible decline, Clement Lenglet being Clement Lenglet, and Eric Gracia still making silly errors. He has stepped up his game this season and has become the club’s leading defender. He has also contributed in front this season. The 22-year-old has scored 3 goals and created two big chances in La Liga this campaign, including a towering header in the win against Atletico Madrid last weekend. He wins 72% of his aerial duels and is secure in possession, although not as progressive as Jules Kounde.
Other reports in Spain also claimed that he has given his word to Xavi that he will renew. Barcelona are also about to sign a lucrative deal with Spotify that will see major funds injected into the club by the streaming company. This will give the cash-strapped club more money for better renewal deals. There is still a light at the end of this tunnel, unlike in the Ousmane Dembele case.
With Chelsea at risk of losing Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, and club captain/10-year stalwart Cesar Azpilicueta for free this summer, it makes sense that they are casting a wide net for defenders in the market. Talks have continued with Antonio Rudiger after an impasse, but is there enough time? Christensen looks set to leave this summer. The Danish Cobham academy graduate is looking for a new challenge after almost 10 years at the club. Azpi wants more than the one-year deal the club is currently offering, and if he does not get it, he might follow the door. Ironically, FC Barcelona want Christensen and Azpilicueta.