Chelsea have reportedly made a last-minute bid to beat Paris Saint-Germain to the signing of Manuel Ugarte from Sporting Lisbon. According to reports in Portugal and France, PSG were on the verge of completing a deal for the Uruguayan midfielder, but Chelsea have flown a representative to Lisbon and informed Sporting that they are prepared to meet Ugarte’s £52 million release clause.
The 22-year-old defensive midfielder has impressed during his second season at Sporting, making 47 appearances in all competitions. Ugarte joined Sporting for just over £5 million in the summer of 2021 from fellow Portuguese side Famalicao and has since made 85 appearances for the club. He also has eight caps for Uruguay.
Ugarte’s agent, Jorge Mendes, had been in talks with several Premier League clubs over a potential move for the midfielder, including Liverpool and Newcastle United. However, it appears that Chelsea and PSG are the front-runners for his signature.
If Chelsea were to sign Ugarte, he would provide competition for N’Golo Kante and Jorginho in midfield. The Blues have been linked with a number of midfielders this summer as they look to strengthen their squad ahead of the new season.
Aston Villa also expressed an interest in Ugarte last week, but it remains to be seen whether they will make a move for him now that Chelsea and PSG have entered the race.