Pochettino’s first Chelsea signing confirmed

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • Updated:
  • 4 min read
Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea, 2022/23
© ProShots

Chelsea will sign Manuel Ugarte from Sporting CP, with the 22-year-old midfielder having agreed to join the Premier League side on a transfer that could cost up to €65 million.

Portuguese outlet Record states Ugarte has picked the Blues over interest from PSG, who even offered the Uruguay international a better wage packet than the London side.

Chelsea will pay €60 million for the former Famalicao player while they could also pay Sporting €5m in bonuses if certain conditions in the deal are met.

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Record reports: “The deal is closed and Ugarte will be a Chelsea player.”

Ugarte has an Expected Transfer Value (xTV) of €18.5m but has seen his value rise as high as €23m, with his value virtually doubling since last summer.

He is a player noted for his enormous defensive qualities, which is something that Chelsea have missed in their midfield over the course of what has been a very difficult season.

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Manuel Ugarte
© ProShots - Manuel Ugarte

Ugarte’s clear desire to make Chelsea move

FootballTransfers reported that Chelsea were leading the race for a player considered to be a defensive machine, and the latest indications from Portugal indicate that new manager Mauricio Pochettino has been given a gift of this new signing.

Indeed, the former PSG and Tottenham head coach has given the green light for this deal to be struck.

Decisive in Ugarte’s thinking was the opportunity to play in the Premier League. There had been previous interest from England’s top flight, but FootballTransefers exclusively revealed that Liverpool pulled out of a deal, fearful that the player’s €60m release clause was excessive.

His desire to play in the Premier League is underlined by the fact that he turned down substantially higher wages at PSG to join Chelsea. According to the report from Portugal, the French club were offering him €5m per season to join whereas he will only be paid around €3.5m with Pochettino’s side.

Ugarte will expect to team up with fellow South American Enzo Fernandez at the heart of the Chelsea midfield next season.

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