Ronald Araujo reveals how close he came to snubbing Barcelona for Man Utd or Liverpool

Barcelona's Ronald Araujo poses for a photograph during his contract renewal signing ceremony at the Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona, Spain on April 29, 2022.

Both Liverpool and Manchester United were linked with moves for Barcelona contract rebel Ronald Araujo, but in a turn of events the Uruguayan has now signed a new deal. Following his extension, Araujo opened up about how close he was to leaving.

Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo has opened up on how close he came to signing for either Manchester United or Liverpool, before signing a new contract.

The Uruguayan was heavily linked with a move away from the Nou Camp after reports claimed that he felt unhappy with Barcelona's initial contract offer. The 23-year-old has been a vital part of Xavi's rebuild, and reportedly wanted his new contract to reflect his importance.

But Araujo re-signed with Barcelona on Friday, extending his stay at the club until 2026, with a mass release clause that could rise to £830million. Following previous interest in the defender from Liverpool and United, Araujo has revealed how close he came to joining the Premier League.

Despite reports linking Araujo elsewhere, the defender has assured that he never wanted to leave Barcelona. That's according to ESPN, who spoke to the 23-year-old after he made the decision to stay at the Nou Camp.

Araujo said: I am really happy and I am convinced that staying is the right decision because there are good years ahead for the club. I was always certain I wanted to stay.

There were big offers from abroad, but I'm happy at Barcelona. My family love it here and the fans and my teammates have always made me feel at home.

I'm grateful for the effort the club have made. We all gave a little bit to reach an agreement, which is what we all wanted. [The Premier League interest] didn't distract me at all.

I was convinced what I wanted. It's true money is a factor, but for me it's not the most important thing. I am happy at Barcelona. The idea is to be here for many years, and maybe in two years I can renew again and go for even more [success].

That's the intention. I am convinced that with the team and the project we are building [with coach Xavi Hernandez] we are going to achieve a lot of things in the future.

I am really excited in that sense. If not, I would not have stayed. I am a winner and I always want to win. We have a young team with a lot of talent.

The youngsters are already showing how good they are, so imagine how good they will be in a few years. We can add more people to the project, too, and, honestly, I am convinced that good times are coming for Barcelona.

And things aren't just going well for Araujo at club level, as the Uruguayan is excited about his national team too. Uruguay qualified for the World Cup with ease, and will fancy their chances in their group for Qatar 2022.

I'm really excited with the national team we have," he said. "There are a lot of young players with talent mixing with the veterans. We going are to have a good World Cup, although we know we have a tough group [Portugal, South Korea and Ghana].

Portugal are the favourites to progress from the group as winners, and South Korea are always a threat with Son Heung-Min. But their clash with Ghana will be a spicy affair, after the controversial meeting in the quarter-final of the World Cup back in 2010.

A Luis Suarez hand-ball denied a clear Ghana goal, and the African side missed the resulting penalty before they were eventually knocked out. It's expected to be Suarez' last World Cup, and he will be keen to get one over the Ghanaian's again.

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