Manchester United have joined Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Manuel Ugarte this summer, according to A Bola.
Ugarte is regarded as one of the best young holding midfielders and he has been touted to pursue a bigger challenge elsewhere during the upcoming transfer window.
Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have already made contact with the player’s entourage to convince him but A Bola claim that United have joined the transfer pursuit.
The Red Devils are prepared to make a ‘big investment’ in their midfield and it is reported that Ugarte could be signed as a strong competitor for Casemiro next term.
The same publication claim that they are ready to offer a ‘higher wage’ package and a ‘longer contract’.
Ugarte’s desire to play in the Premier League could also play into their hands. United also have the luxury of Champions League football next season which Chelsea don’t.
Ugarte would be a fantastic buy for United
The Uruguay international has been terrific for Sporting over the past year. This season, he has completed 92 per cent of his passes, winning 3.9 tackles and 7.5 duels per game.
Ugarte is not the tallest of midfielders at 182cm but has still won 65 per cent of his aerial challenges. Meanwhile, the midfielder has lost possession on just 7.1 occasions per appearance.
Looking at those statistics, the South American ace has the credentials to become world-class in future. He could be seen as the ideal long-term replacement for Casemiro.
The big question is whether United are likely to spend on another defensive midfielder. Erik ten Hag is currently eyeing a creative number eight. Mason Mount is the top target.
If United decide to sign Ugarte this summer, there is a good possibility that Scott McTominay could make way in the search for minutes. He is on the radar of Newcastle United.
Ugarte currently has a £52 million release clause in his contract and Sporting won’t accept anything less. The Red Devils could recoup the fee by selling McTominay and possibly Fred.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com
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