Barcelona are pushing to sign LA Galaxy right-back Julian Araujo before the transfer window closes in Europe on Tuesday, various sources have confirmed to ESPN.
Barca have been tracking Araujo for some time and want to sign him on loan initially with an option to make the deal permanent given Hector Bellerin’s possible move to Sporting Club.
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Sources have told ESPN that Araujo, 21, will initially be registered with Barca’s B team if he is signed, but that the Catalan club feel he has the potential to be involved with the first team in the short term.
If Bellerin joins Sporting Lisbon this week – with sources telling ESPN the deal is likely to happen once Tottenham Hotspur complete the signing of Pedro Porro from Portuguese side – then Barca will be without a natural right-back.
Jules Konde, Ronald Araujo, Sergi Roberto and Alejandro Balde have all been used in the position this season, often at the expense of Bellerin.
Araujo, who was born in California, represented the United States at youth level and has one cap for the senior side. However, in 2021 he switched allegiance to Mexico, although he has not played for El Tri since winning his third cap in a friendly against Suriname in June 2022.
Barca are hoping to close the deal before Tuesday’s deadline, but sources say it is a “complex situation.” A source close to the negotiations in the US says “it is not final by any means.”
Araujo has been a regular for the Galaxy for the past two seasons, and convincing the Major League Soccer team to let him go on loan is no easy task.
In addition, the operation may also need to be approved by LaLiga, although registering him in the B team could be a solution.
Barca failed to sign midfielder Gavi’s new contract last week due to the league’s salary caps, although LaLiga president Javier Tebas confirmed on Monday that the club has “some room” to maneuver this month following the departures of Gerard Pique and Memphis Depay.
Pique announced his retirement in December and Memphis joined Atletico earlier in January in a deal worth an initial €3 million.
ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle contributed to this report.