Ronald Araujo appears to have pledged his immediate future to Barcelona amid recent transfer speculation linking the versatile defender with Bayern Munich.
Araujo is not due to be out of contract at Barcelona until 2026 after agreeing a new long-term deal only last year, although there were lengthy delays in registering it due to the club’s well publicised financial problems and severe spending limits set by La Liga.
That situation has been resolved but fresh gossip has named Bayern Munich as a suitor.
In the short-term at least, Araujo appears to have no desire to go anywhere else after captaining Barca for the midweek win over Porto in the Champions League.
“It is very special to be able to wear the armband. It is a pride and a responsibility,” he said at an event held by the Barca Foundation a few days after that game.
When Araujo was still in contract limbo earlier this year, the Uruguay international had been the subject of several enquiries from leading Premier League clubs. Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United all asked about his availability.
Juventus, Inter and Borussia Dortmund also showed interest, but Barca were adamant that the contract delay would not be an issue and that he would remain at the club for the long-term.
Having played for two different teams in Uruguay’s Primera Division in his early career, Araujo joined Barcelona aged 19 in 2018 and was initially a B team player in Spain’s third tier. But he was permanently promoted to the first-team two years later and has been an important player since 2021.
He was added to the squad’s formal leadership group ahead of this season as third captain following summer exits for Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, wearing the armband against Porto for the first time in the absences of Sergi Roberto and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.