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Xavi reiterates Ronald Araujo stance amid transfer talk

Xavi reiterates Ronald Araujo stance amid transfer talk
© Reuters
Barcelona boss Xavi details importance of the club keeping hold of Ronald Araujo amid the ongoing speculation surrounding his future.

Barcelona head coach Xavi has again detailed the importance of the club keeping hold of Ronald Araujo amid the ongoing speculation surrounding the centre-back's future.

The Uruguay international has again been a vital player for the Catalan outfit this season, making 27 appearances in all competitions, and he has a contract at Camp Nou until June 2026.

The 24-year-old's future at Barcelona is in doubt, though, with Bayern Munich believed to be determined to sign him during this summer's transfer window, while Manchester United are also said to be interested.

Xavi will not be involved in the decision-making process this summer, as he prepares to stand down as Barcelona head coach this summer, but the club's legendary midfielder has insisted that the Catalan side must keep hold of "fundamental player" Araujo.

"For me there is no doubt. Araujo is the present and the future of Barca. He is already one of the captains and a leader in the dressing room. He is a fundamental player for the future of the club," Xavi told reporters during his press conference on Friday afternoon.

Barcelona head coach Xavi on January 21, 2024© Reuters

Araujo arrived at Barcelona from Boston River in 2018, and he has made 140 appearances for his current side in all competitions, scoring eight goals and registering three assists in the process.

Barcelona's ongoing financial problems could lead to them making a couple of big-name sales this summer, and Araujo's future is set to be a topic of much debate in the coming months.

The Catalan outfit drew 1-1 with Napoli in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League clash on Wednesday, and their focus now switches back to La Liga, welcoming Getafe on Saturday afternoon.

The reigning champions are third in the La Liga table, eight points behind the leaders Real Madrid on the same number of matches (25), and Xavi has insisted that the title race is still open.

"We will fight for La Liga until it is mathematically possible. We can't fail at home. Tomorrow is very important to try to pull one back, but we know it's complicated," he said.

Barcelona coach Xavi before the match on December 10, 2023© Reuters

"We have a week to rest until next Sunday. If we win, we would be in second place and it would be good to put pressure on Girona and Madrid.

"It would be better for us to play on Sunday, but we have been given this schedule and there are no excuses. We have two and a half days to rest and we'll compete tomorrow.

"Tomorrow is a very important game against Getafe, they are very well coached by [Jose] Bordalas. They are not a defensive team, for me they are a brave team with a very high defensive line.

"They have taken points at the Wanda Metropolitano and they always compete. They are a complicated opponent, but they are three very important points for the fight for the league title."

Barcelona have another three league matches against Getafe, Athletic Bilbao and Mallorca before welcoming Napoli for the second leg of their last-16 Champions League clash on March 12.

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