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‘Ten Hag Favourite signing’ – Man Utd prepared to pay £68m to sign 25yo star, club make surprise U-turn – report

Manchester United are reportedly willing to pay up to £68 million to sign Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo this summer, according to Spanish publication Sport.

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The Red Devils are in the market for a new central defender, as Raphael Varane is expected to leave when his contract expires at the end of June.

Araujo has been identified as a top target, and Sport claims that United are prepared to offer up to £68 million for him. However, a deal now seems unlikely as Barcelona have decided not to sell him.

The Catalan giants need a significant sale before June 30 to balance their books, and Araujo was initially considered the prime candidate to leave. However, new manager Hansi Flick has insisted on keeping Araujo and selling other defenders instead.

Barcelona has agreed to Flick’s request and will now focus on extending Araujo’s contract.

Man Utd Need to Consider Alternative Targets

Manchester United are looking for a strong, ball-playing centre-back to replace Varane, and Araujo would have been an ideal fit at 25 years old and in his prime. However, with Flick’s arrival and Barcelona’s decision to retain Araujo, a deal now seems off the table.

United must now turn their attention to other targets. They need a right-footed centre-back, and several young options are available at a similar price.

Ousmane Diomande is available for sale due to Sporting’s financial concerns. The Ivorian defender could be acquired for around £51 million, according to Record.

Additionally, Lille’s Leny Yoro is also on the move. The 18-year-old is valued at a similar price and is currently attracting interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

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