Barcelona via their football director Deco have warned interested parties like Manchester United and Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich to stay off reported defensive target Ronaldo Araujo.
This month, it emerged that United and Bayern are the two clubs who have shown the strongest interest in Araujo.
The player previously acknowledged the heavy links to United before admitting that he is happy at Barca and is not looking to move elsewhere.
Sky Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg relayed that Erik ten Hag’s side approached Barcelona to ask about the possibility of signing Araujo during the ongoing winter transfer window.
Like Bayern who also fielded inquiries for the Uruguayan, United were met with a firm response that only a financial package of over €80 million would tempt the Blaugrana into entertaining the idea of parting ways with their star defender.
Plettenberg added that Thomas Tuchel’s Bayern have not given up and will likely come back for Araujo during the summer.
United are on the hunt for defensive reinforcements. Alongside Araujo, the Red Devils are also understood to be keen on the services of players like Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Goncalo Inacio (Sporting Lisbon) Antonio Silva (Benfica), Leny Yoro (Lille), Jean-Clair Todibo (OGC Nice) and Edmond Tapsoba (Bayer Leverkusen), just to mention a few names.
Amidst all this, Deco spoke to reporters after Barca’s dramatic 4-2 win against Real Betis on Sunday and warned that Araujo is not going anywhere.
Deco said about the 24-year-old, “He is one of Barça’s key players of the present and future.”
“We are not considering selling him, we want him to be happy and this is shown on a day-to-day basis.”
“There is nothing to talk about. The important thing is that he is here with hunger and heart.”
For Barcelona this term, Araujo has made 21 appearances across all competitions. He has helped the Spanish giants keep a total of six clean sheets.