Real Madrid planning sensational move for Barca contract rebel

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald 27 Jan 2022 13:19 CET 3 min read
Ronald Araujo, Barcelona

Real Madrid are planning an audacious swoop for Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo, according to reports from Spain.

Araujo's contract at Camp Nou expires in the summer of 2023 and this time next year, he will become available to talk to other clubs about a potential free transfer.

As of this week, the Uruguayan has rejected Barcelona's latest extension offer, which has alerted Madrid as well as Manchester United and Chelsea.

Real Madrid have gained recent success in the free agent market with the acquisition of David Alaba from Bayern Munich, while they hope to conclude a deal for Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe for nothing this upcoming summer.

Los Blancos are now paying more attention to players who may be available for free or at a knockdown price in the near future and have identified Araujo as a target.

Araujo joined Barcelona B from Uruguayan outfit Boston River in 2018. He would impress with the reserve side of the Catalan giants before being promoted to the first team squad ahead of the 2020/21 season under Ronald Koeman.

Though injuries have hampered his impact on the team so far, he appears to be a valued member of the first team squad and trusted, crucially, by new head coach Xavi, who replaced Koeman earlier in the season.

Araujo's performances when he has been fit have been impressive, and he was recently unlucky to be on the losing side in the Clasico as Real Madrid defeated Barca 3-2 in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final in Saudi Arabia.

The Blaugrana will, naturally, be desperate to avoid losing one of their players to an arch rival.

Who has played for Barcelona and Real Madrid?

Even though the hatred between the Clasico sides is fiery and long-standing, there are a number of players who have played for both clubs and even crossed the line directly.

The most notorious example is undoubtedly Luis Figo, who became the world's most expensive player when he joined Real Madrid from Barcelona in 2000.

Luis Figo played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid

Luis Figo played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid

The response from the Barca fans was predictably vitriolic, with a pig's head even being thrown Figo's way during a subsequent Clasico between the sides.

Michael Laudrup was a key player in Johan Cruyff's 'Dream Team', but eventually moved to Madrid and helped Los Blancos break Barce's period of La Liga domination.

One player remains a popular figure among both sets of fans and that is Brazilian legend Ronaldo.

He won the Ballon d'Or while at Barcelona and would, later in his career in 2002, make the move join Madrid's Galacticos after a spell in Italy with Inter.

Other notable players to have played for both clubs, albeit at varying levels, include Luis Enrique, Samuel Eto'o, Gheorghe Hagi, Josep Samitier, Bernd Schuster, Alfredo Di Stefano, and Javier Saviola.

There are over 30 players in total to have played for both Barcelona and Madrid.