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Man Utd plan to hijack Chelsea’s move for Manuel Ugarte

According to A Bola (via Noticias ao Minuto), Manchester United have decisively joined Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain in the hunt to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Manuel Ugarte.

The 22-year-old recently rejected a new contract with Sporting and they are braced for his exit with multiple European clubs prepared to trigger the £52 million release clause in his deal. Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with the Uruguayan in recent days but A Bola claim that Man United have ‘decisively’ joined the chase for him.

Erik ten Hag’s team are willing to make a large investment on Ugarte this summer and A Bola report that they are also prepared to provide a better salary and a lengthier contract to him. The midfielder favours a move to the Premier League and United could reportedly have the edge over Chelsea with their Champions League qualification.


Ugarte has enhanced his reputation with a strong campaign with Sporting in the Portuguese top-flight. His distribution and ability to time challenges have made him a favourite among the fans. He is now ready to take the next step in his career and it could be in the Premier League next season.

Newly-appointed Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has placed the defensive midfielder as the top of his summer wishlist, as per Fabrizio Romano but United could hijack the London club’s pursuit. They have had a superb season of transition under ten Hag and are now a lucrative destination.

Ugarte could find it hard to turn down an approach from United but the club may need to make space for him in the squad. Casemiro is currently a guaranteed starter in the number 6 spot with Scott McTominay and Fred providing back-up. One of McTominay or Fred may need to be offloaded for Ugarte to join.

Meanwhile, ten Hag appears to be looking for a box-to-box midfielder this summer rather than a defensive one. The prospect of signing a player of Ugarte’s quality could be enticing but ultimately, United may make the final decision on him based on the feedback or opinion of the head coach.

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