FC Barcelona has finally reached an agreement with Ronald Araujo for a contract extension. A new four-year deal was announced on Tuesday after many months of back and forth negotiations between the club and the player's representatives.

The highly-rated centre-back is now expected to remain at the Camp Nou at least until 2026, three years longer than his current deal which is set to expire at the end of next season. The club had been keen on locking down the 23-year-old's future, as they aim to protect the value of their crop of new talents.

Now that the race for titles this season has pretty much ended for Barcelona, manager Xavi Hernandez is focusing back on his rebuilding project and his plans for the club's future. President Joan Laporta and the club's other directors have been working hard to help Xavi acquire the players that he wants while also making sure that the club finds a way out of its financial crisis.

Part of the plan is to offer long-term deals to the club's young players in order to guarantee quality in the lineup without having to constantly shell out cash on expensive player transfers. Players like Pedri and Ansu Fati were locked down earlier this season, and like them, Araujo also has a one-billion euro release clause that will fend off other clubs from attempting to poach them.

The fact is, several other clubs could potentially offer a better salary package than the Blaugrana at the moment, but Xavi has been working hard to convince the young players to stay and be part of his project. In order to secure the deals, Barcelona executives have been banking on the players' loyalty to the club, plus the Blaugrana's prestigious standing in club football and Xavi's promise to get the club back in title contention as soon as possible.

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— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 26, 2022

After committing his future to Barcelona, Araujo said, "I'm really happy to be able to stay here, to stay for many more years. It is the fruit of a lot of hard work, so I thank all the coaches who have helped me."

He has had a breakthrough season this year, finding a regular spot in Xavi's lineup. The manager himself has spoken openly about wanting the Uruguay international to stay at the Camp Nou. His confidence in the player has translated to some brilliant performances, including a goal at El Clasico.

"I remember the first time I went to the Camp Nou and I saw how the people cheered for Luis Suarez and my wish was that one day they would cheer for me. My wish now is for many titles to be won here," added Araujo.

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez (right) alongside club president Joan Laporta at Camp Nou LLUIS GENE/AFP