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Man Utd prepared to pay for Araujo, but club makes a surprise U-turn

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

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

Araujo has been highlighted as one of the prime targets, and Sport (page 2) claims they are prepared to pay up to £68m to sign him.

However, a deal appears unlikely to materialise with Barcelona no longer aiming to sanction his sale.

The Catalan giants need a big-money exit before June 30 to balance their books and Araujo was recently earmarked as the ideal candidate to leave.

The scenario has now changed with new manager Hansi Flick making it clear that he wants to keep him and the club should sell other defenders.

Barcelona have also agreed to the German’s request and will step up contract talks with the Uruguayan.

Man Utd need to move on to alternative targets

The Red Devils need a strong ball-playing centre-back to replace Varane. Araujo would be a perfect fit. He is currently in the prime of his career at 25.

However, a deal is unlikely to materialise. Flick was recently appointed to replace Xavi, and the Blaugrana will likely support his decision.

United must move on to alternative targets. The club need a right-footed centre-back and there are plenty of young options for a similar price tag.

Ousmane Diomande is up for sale amid financial concerns for Sporting CP. The Ivorian sensation could be available for a package of £51m, as per Record.

Lille’s Leny Yoro is also set to move on. The 18-year-old is valued at the same price and is wanted by Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

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