Barcelona are pushing to sign LA Galaxy right-back Julian Araujo before the transfer window closes in Europe on Tuesday, multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN.
Barca have been tracking Araujo for some time and are willing to sign him on loan initially with the option to keep the deal pending a possible transfer of Hector Bellerin to Sporting Club.
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Sources have told ESPN that Araujo, 21, will initially sign with the Barca B team if he signs, but that the Catalan club feel he has the ability to be involved with the first team in the short term.
If Bellerin joins Sporting Lisbon this week – with sources telling ESPN that the deal could happen once Tottenham Hotspur complete the signing of Pedro Porro from the Portuguese side – then Barça will be left without a natural right-back.
Jules Kounde, 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 the youth level and has one cap for the senior team. However, in 2021 he changed 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 hopeful of closing the deal before Tuesday’s deadline but sources added that the situation is “complex.” A source close to the negotiations in the United States said “it is not final by any means.”
Araujo has been a regular for the Galaxy over the last two seasons and convincing the Major League Soccer club to let him leave the starting line-up on loan is no easy task.
In addition, the work may still have to be approved by LaLiga, although his registration with the B team may indicate a task.
Barca were unable to sign midfielder Gavi’s contract last week due to the league’s salary cap, although LaLiga president Javier Tebas confirmed on Monday that the club had “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 in early January in a deal worth 3 million initially.
ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle contributed to this report.