Ronald Araujo reportedly turned down higher financial offers from Premier League clubs in order to sign a new contract with Barcelona earlier this year.
There had been speculation surrounding the 23-year-old’s future, as he entered the latter stages of his contract, but the talk ended when the Uruguay international penned a new four-year deal to June 2026.
According to Sport, Araujo had some lucrative financial offers on the table from English teams but was only ever interested in signing a new deal with Xavi‘s side.
The South American has been a vital player for Barcelona during the 2022-23 campaign, making seven appearances in all competitions, while he has now played 88 times for the club in all competitions.
Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are among the English teams believed to have been interested in the defender’s signature when his future at Barcelona was unclear.
“It’s a great happiness to be in this club, the best team in the world,” Araujo said when he officially signed his new deal with Barcelona earlier this year.
“It’s happiness for that and I’m so grateful for this opportunity. It’s tremendous. My family have supported me from the start, my parents, my wife, we’ve been through a lot.
“This is so important for us. The support from the club is so important. I’m so happy with the technical staff, the support they give me, the help, to get into this style, this way of playing which was difficult for me at first.
“I’m so proud to be here, to be signing a contract with the first team. Thanks to all my teammates who are always supporting me. I’m very happy to be at the best club in the world.
“Being here in the first team, feeling important, is the result of a lot of work. I never doubted it, I was always clear that I wanted to stay,” he said. “I believe in the project, in the young people and I am sure that we are going to win many titles.”
There is a €1bn (£880m) buy-out clause in Araujo’s deal, and there have been claims that the centre-back could become the team’s captain at some stage in the future.
The Uruguayan helped his side keep another clean sheet against Elche in the league on Saturday, and he is confident that Barcelona are moving in the right direction.
“We’re playing very well, and we’re on the right path. We needed to win and we did it. Sooner or later the goals would come, it was about patience,” Araujo told reporters.
“The most important part of our matches is to keep a clean sheet. Then, with the quality we have up-front, they will make the difference. We’re a team that is still in development, I think that is obvious. Our goal as defenders is to keep a clean sheet, and we’re doing well.”
Araujo made the move to Barcelona from Boston River in 2018, initially turning out for the club’s B side before making his first-team debut in October 2019.