A move to La Liga giant Barcelona is currently up in the air for LA Galaxy right back Julián Araujo.
According to MLS insider Tom Bogert, paperwork for the move was filed less than a minute after Tuesday’s winter transfer deadline, and now the sides are waiting for some clarity on the potential move.
Barcelona was reportedly set to pay more than $4 million as it tries to shore up the future of its right back position. The spot has been somewhat in flux this season, with a revolving door of center backs and left backs starting at the position over Héctor Bellerín, who left the club on a transfer to Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday.
A California native, Araujo signed with the Galaxy in 2019, and he’s made 100 appearances and recorded 20 assists. The 21-year-old started 30 matches in the 2022 MLS season. He initially made his way through the youth ranks with the U.S. men’s national team, but switched to play for Mexico in 2021. He has made two appearances for El Tri.
Few Mexican internationals have ever donned the Blaugrana. Rafa Márquez, one of El Tri’s greatest-ever players, had a successful seven-year stint in Barcelona, but only two other players combined for a total of 66 appearances.
Barça made few headlines in the January window. A massive summer overhaul that saw the club spend big on Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Koundé meant that Champions League success was critical to the club’s financial well-being.
The Blaugrana were knocked out in the group stage, so even with club legend Gerard Piqué agreeing to retire mid-season, they didn’t have the ability to bring in many reinforcements during the January window.