CONFIRMED: Chelsea lead Ugarte race

Jacque Talbot
Jacque Talbot
  • Updated:
  • 4 min read
Manuel Ugarte. Sporting CP, Chelsea. 2022/23
© ProShots

Chelsea now lead the race in signing Manuel Ugarte, FootballTransfers can report.

After we exclusively revealed the club’s interest in the player on May 3 we can now tell you that the midfielder is eager to join the Blues, with his only reservations being the lack of Champions League football.

We reported, too, of Aston Vila’s admiration for the Sporting CP star, whose release clause is €60 million, but now it’s Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain who are involved.

Mauricio Pochettino has given Chelsea the green light to make their first summer signing, with the Blues set to splash out €60 million on the transfer.

The Blues are expected to invest significantly in the transfer market once again, even if Financial Fair Play (FFP) will prevent them from having the type of splurge they enjoyed in the previous two windows, with the Argentine set to have a major say in which players arrive and go.

— Jacque Talbot (@jac_talbot) May 3, 2023

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FootballTransfers exclusively revealed Chelsea's interest in the player on 3 May - and they remain insistent on signing the player.

The Uruguay international has already been associated with PSG this summer, with the Ligue 1 champions having reportedly matched the player’s release clause of €60 million in order to trigger contract talks. Reports from Portugal even claimed the deal was done.

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Chelsea have the opportunity to respond and have reportedly taken that, with Pochettino okaying the deal.

Manuel Ugarte is linked to Chelsea and PSG
© ProShots - Manuel Ugarte is linked to Chelsea and PSG

Why Chelsea want to sign Ugarte

Ugarte would solve Chelsea’s issue in midfield. The Blues are chasing a defensively minded central midfielder, and the 22-year-old would fit the bill perfectly.

The Sporting star’s qualities are largely in terms of his ball winning, with a string of leading clubs chasing him because of these abilities.

Liverpool and Aston Villa have also been interested in the player, although it appears that Chelsea and PSG are out in front to sign Ugarte.

He has an Expected Transfer Value (xTV) of €20m but has seen his value sharply rise since the beginning of the season and it is anticipated that he will continue to progress at a bigger club.