Enquiry made: Man Utd eyeing £69m Maguire upgrade who’s “one of the best in the world”

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up Sunday night, Manchester United made their Premier League comeback by putting up another uneven performance against Tottenham Hotspur at home. Despite two incredible goals from Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund, the Red Devils were twice pulled back.

The defensive unit was scrutinised on a day when a normally listless front line had flashes of energy. They had lost a corner cheaply inside the first half and had let Rodrigo Bentancur walk easily into the penalty area shortly after.

While the news of Lisandro Martinez’s comeback has been encouraging, it is unclear who will be his long-term defensive partner going forward, since both Jonny Evans and Raphael Varane have contracts expiring this summer, and Harry Maguire appeared to be heading out of the team in the summer not so long ago.

In light of this, it comes as no surprise that the Old Trafford team is now searching for a possible upgrade in that role.

Man Utd wants to sign the rising star of La Liga
Reporter Florian Plettenberg of Sky Germany claims that in order to find out how much it may cost to recruit Ronald Araujo in 2024, United has reportedly contacted Barcelona about the possibility of doing so.

A summer transfer is more plausible given the report’s estimate that any deal this month would likely cost about €80 million (£69 million), and the player himself seems eager to remain at Camp Nou past the current window.

The 24-year-old is reportedly considered a “top target” by German powerhouse Bayern Munich, so Ten Hag will have competition if he wants to land his man at the conclusion of the season.

Ronaldo Araujo and Harry Maguire’s similarities
It was Maguire who had established himself as the key member of Ten Hag’s defence before suffering a devastating injury blow last month. His excellent comeback even earned him the Premier League Player of the Month title for November.

But as was previously said, the 30-year-old was thought to be out for grabs this summer after losing his captaincy, with the United manager seeing his “sluggish pace” as a major problem in the backline.

Hence, if Araujo is acquired, it may be the last straw for Maguire to stay in Manchester. According to Barca manager Xavi Hernandez, the 6′ 2″ giant is “one of the finest in the world” in his position.

The 16-cap international, referred to as a “Rolls-Royce” by talent scout Jacek Kulig, stands out for his ability to play out of the back. He ranks in the top 13% and top 7% of his European counterparts, respectively, for progressive passes made per 90 and successful takeaways per 90.

Maguire, on the other hand, has demonstrated that he is significantly less skilled at moving the ball forward from deep, ranking in only the top 21% and the top 60% for those same two categories, respectively, over the previous 365 days.

Araujo’s defensive skills also demonstrate this disparity in quality; so far this season, he has won 64% of his total duels in La Liga and 58% of his ground duels, compared to just 60% for the former United captain and 43% of his ground duels.

Araujo might prove to be a game-changing addition for those at Old Trafford, providing a more young, long-term option in a department that is primarily ageing. Kulig also claims that Araujo has “prime [Virgil] Van Dijk vibes.”

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