Barcelona has been steadily rebuilding under Xavi Hernandez and Gavi and Araujo have been key to that rebuild. Both youngsters have found themselves being called upon frequently by Xavi for crunch ties and have delivered well enough, even sometimes casting doubts on their youth.
It is for this reason that Barcelona are prioritising the renewal of their young squad over spending money in the transfer window. To fill up any gaps in their squad, the technical board will go after mostly free agents. The club’s current financial situation also means that this is the best option they have.
They have already renewed Anssumane Fati and Pedri Gonzalez’s deals, setting both 19-year-olds’ release clauses at €1 billion. Their next priority is Gavi and Araujo, which, per recent reports, has run into a stumbling block.
Both players have contracts expiring in 2023 and the club has been in talks with both players’ representatives for a few months but have not made any headway. They are not short of suitors either, which is why the Catalan giants are trying to prevent their deals from entering the final year.
Spanish outlet SPORT reports that Barcelona are considering ending negotiations, however. This is due to the salary demands from the agents of both players and the club’s current financial situation. SPORT claims that despite the importance of both players, Barcelona is not planning on altering their current wage cap to accommodate them.
If the talks do not go through in the coming weeks, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has declared that both players will have to find new clubs in the summer. Manchester United and Chelsea have been linked with the 23-year-old Uruguayan defender, while Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal have been linked with the 17-year-old midfield sensation.
Elsewhere, Ajax Amsterdam right-back Noussair Mazraoui has responded to the rumours linking him with a move to Barcelona in the summer.
The Moroccan has chosen not to renew his deal with Ajax and will be a free agent come the end of the season. Many clubs have declared an interest in his services, and reports claimed that Barcelona were the closest.
Some reports even claimed that the Catalan club have all but officially put pen to paper on his deal, as they are only waiting for his go-ahead. However, the right-back has come out to deny the links, claiming that no such agreement is near.
“I haven’t signed anything with Barcelona yet,” he said. “There’s nothing concrete, I’m not even close to doing it. Otherwise, I’d be honest and say so.”