BARCELONA, Spain (AP)Central defender Ronald Araujo has agreed to a contract extension with Barcelona through the end of the 2025-26 season, the Spanish club said Tuesday.

Barcelona said that the 23-year-old Uruguay international will sign his new deal on Friday.

Araujo, fast enough to keep up with the speediest strikers and strong in the area, is considered Barcelona’s most talented young defender. He shares playing time now with veteran Gerard Pique and Eric Garcia.

The club prioritized Araujo’s extension, needing to solidify the future of its defense as the 35-year-old Pique enters the twilight of this career.

Araujo has scored six goals in 78 career appearances with Barcelona.

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