Chelsea have reportedly told Sporting they are prepared to match Paris Saint-Germain’s £52million offer for Manuel Ugarte. The 22-year-old Uruguayan is quickly becoming one of Europe’s most-coveted players ahead of the summer transfer window and it appears the Blues are not prepared to let the defensive midfielder join the French giants without a fight.
On Thursday morning, reports from both Portugal and France relayed that PSG were closing in on the signing of Ugarte.
That’s because the reigning Ligue 1 champions are prepared to match his £52m release clause having already discussed personal terms with the player.
But now there has been a late twist with Brazilian journalist Bruno Andrade now reporting that Chelsea have entered the fray.
It’s claimed the Blues have already made it clear they will match PSG’s offer having recently flown a club representative out to Lisbon.
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Aston Villa, Tottenham and Liverpool have all been heavily linked with Ugarte but none of those clubs have yet made their move.
It means Ugarte’s future could rest with the player himself as he is likely to have the final say on a transfer.
Sporting boss Ruben Amorim says he is unable to provide assurances that Ugarte will remain at the club beyond the summer transfer window.
“We know it’s difficult to keep players like Ugarte. Several clubs are interested,” Amorim said.
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“Our objective is to sell, knowing that we missed the Champions League and that makes everything more difficult. I know what I want and I passed this on to management.”
Jorge Mendes is handling the Uruguayan’s future and he is said to have presented PSG’s offer to Sporting.
Chelsea are yet to unveil Mauricio Pochettino as their next head coach but a deal has already been wrapped up with the Argentine.
The Blues are already believed to be working on their summer transfer business for their new boss behind the scenes.
With Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount and potentially N’Golo Kante set to depart Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are in strong need of some reinforcements in midfield this summer.
The club are still optimistic that Kante will stay but he is yet to finalise a contract extension with his current deal due to expire this summer.
Mount looks to be headed for Manchester United while Kovacic has also attracted interest from the Red Devils, Manchester City and Bayern Munich.
Chelsea need to prioritise player sales before they begin to spend cash excessively this summer after being placed on FIFA’s Financial Fair Player watch-list.
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