Liverpool are the frontrunners to secure the signature of Manuel Ugarte, the defensive midfielder from Sporting Lisbon, during the upcoming summer transfer window.
Liverpool FC is reportedly looking to strengthen their midfield by adding three new players in the upcoming transfer window.
Manager Jurgen Klopp is keen to improve this area of the team following their struggles this season. Reports from Portuguese outlet Record suggest that the Reds are in talks with Manuel Ugarte, a 22-year-old defensive midfielder who currently plays for Sporting Lisbon.
Ugarte is viewed as a cheaper alternative to other midfielders previously linked with Liverpool, despite his £52m release clause.
Although Sporting Lisbon would prefer to keep the Uruguayan international, they are willing to negotiate with interested parties.
Liverpool may face competition from other Premier League clubs for Ugarte’s signature, as they seek to revamp their midfield.
Several players are set to depart, including James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Naby Keita, and with Jordan Henderson, Thiago, and Fabinho all in or approaching their 30s, it is clear that new talent is needed to compete for titles.
Ugarte is a physical and tenacious midfielder who can play in either a defensive midfield or No. 8 role.
If signed, he would likely provide competition for Fabinho and could be groomed for the position for years to come.
Liverpool has also been linked with other midfielders, including Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo from Brighton, Chelsea’s Mason Mount and Conor Gallagher, Ryan Gravenberch from Bayern Munich, and Nicolo Barella from Inter Milan.
However, Liverpool reportedly ended their interest in Jude Bellingham due to his high price tag.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has been playing in a more central role in recent matches, which has been a potential solution for Liverpool’s midfield.
However, it is clear that more new faces are necessary after falling from title contenders to outsiders for a top-four finish.
Ugarte joined Sporting Lisbon for just over £5m in the summer of 2021 and has since made 83 appearances for the club, while also earning eight caps for Uruguay.