Xavi prefers Pavard or Foyth over Arnau who is reportedly Atletico bound. They've signed Doherty until end of the season and then expect them to go after Arnau.
As said yesterday I think this kid is worth a risk for rumoured fee. It worked out well for us with one Araujo, hopefully can with the second one as well. We need two new RBs anyway unless we want to keep Roberto around or continue playing Kounde there (which I think he's probably not really happy with).
Just my guess so could be wrong as still don't know much about Araujo although as said he caught my eye a few times then playing against the Sounders but think Xavi's plan could be something like.
(lineups below are mostly focused on FBs and wingers so ignore other positions)
Dembele as a touchline winger backed up by a more defensive RB while on the left we have Balde overlapping Ansu who moves inside closer to Lewy which should get most out of him. Not really using Ansu this way in most games though.
Now reverse the sides/roles.
Raphinha as an inverted winger (which should fit him better than hugging the line) with J. Araujo overlapping and on the left a touchline winger (could be Dembele as well but hopefully we'll bring someone who can play that role if that's the plan; could also give a chance to Angel Alarcon there but with tough schedule upcoming I doubt) with LB who will stay back more. Alba not really that profile ofc but under Xavi he has played more as an additional midfielder than doing overlaps.
Under Pep we had an offensive RB (Alves) with a defensive LB (Abidal). Didn't really have a clear backup to Alves because he always played but had Sylvinho as offensive backup LB. With how our current team is set up we'd have an offensive LB (Balde) paired with a defensive RB. And on the bench a defensive LB and offensive RB. Ofc this is ideal world and easier said than done. Quality full backs are hard to find these days even for clubs with more money than we have right now so don't mind to take a cheap gamble and see if this guy will stick around (IF we'll actually sign him).
Clearly this is just theory and don't know if would work as roles of midfielders would also change depending on profile of FBs and wingers playing on their side but I think FDJ, Pedri and Gavi are all versatile and adaptable enough this shouldn't be a problem for them.
Still a lot of question marks regarding FBs and wingers in this team imo.
1. Starting with Araujo we don't know if he's good enough to stay around at least as a squad player. But if bought he at least deserves a chance as we don't have anyone established at his position. I think he has some offensive qualities but could be questionable in defense as there is a big quality jump coming from MLS to (even current version of) La Liga. OTOH he would have something our past RBs mostly didn't have. Cover of young and athletic CBs like Kounde and Araujo rather than slow and mistake prones Pique and Lenglet. MATS playing on a different level this year should also boost confidence of players ahead of him (ofc this also works the other way around).
2. Who will be brought as starting RB in summer and how (fast) will he adapt? Even if Araujo is signed I believe we'll go for a more proven RB in summer. But if Araujo comes in and does great in next few months then plans could change from investing 30-40m in Pavard/Foyth to rather bring a cheaper (and older) alternative. Probably Azpi will be on the list again, maybe that RB from Rennes we were interested in as well. Doubt Araujo can really make any (big) impact in just a few months though. Would be happy if he would show at least some potential if/when given a chance.
3. I believe in Balde and think he has improved a lot over last few months but still a lot of work ahead of him. Will also need to find a capable backup who will complement him in 2024 when Alba and Alonso will (hopefully) both be gone.
4. As for wingers we know Dembele can stay important player but will he return from injury and play on a high level again or will continue to get injured like he did in the past? Also, what to do with his contract? How much will the club be willing to pay him now that injury problems could be back?
5. Also don't know if Raphinha can make it here but he'll have next month to prove himself. We'll see if Xavi is smart enough to adapt system to his strengths or he'll expect him to do same things Dembele does (which is setting him up to fail).
5. LW is a third problematic position in the team after RB and DM (well, sadly Xavi has blind faith in his amigo and doesn't' see DM as a problem but this is for another debate). Both Ansu and Torres would be better utilised as inside forwards than playing far away from Lewandowsky as they are mostly now. Have given up on Ferran but still believe in Ansu. But as already said if Xavi wants a touchline winger then should play Dembele (although he's better on the right so should stay there) or bring someone who can play that role. That's why I wasn't opposed to the idea of bringing back Abde from loan. I'm not his biggest fan but would fit that role better than Ansu or Torres.