Date: 4th January 2022 at 1:15pm
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Phil Jones gave a good account of himself on his return to the Manchester United team on Monday evening, as the former England international made his first start in 23 months. 

The centre-back was drafted back into the first team fold with Harry Maguire, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof all unavailable, and partnered Raphael Varane at the back against Wolves.

The Englishman impressed given the circumstances, but United’s evening ultimately ended in defeat as Joao Moutinho’s strike gave the visitors all three points at Old Trafford.

Now, it appears that United are already in the market to sign defensive reinforcements, to bolster the squad in the central defensive department.

Araujo has been one of Xavi’s most valuable assets this season

As per The Sun, United are currently considered to be ‘realistic’ contenders for the signature of Barcelona star Ronald Araujo.

The Uruguayan centre-back has impressed since establishing himself in the first team at the Nou Camp, but has a staggering £168 million release clause.

Araujo has made 15 La Liga appearances so far this term, only missing the club’s other four games due to a hamstring injury.

The 22-year-old joined the Catalan giants from Uruguayan side Boston River in 2018, and progressed into the first team in 2020 having initially been involved with Barcelona B.

The defender has been one of the most impressive in his position over the past 18 months, and would be a useful addition to a United backline that has been far below par this term.

While United have improved defensively since Rangnick’s arrival they have still conceded 27 goals in 19 Premier League matches and kept just four clean sheets in that time.

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