Chelsea are determined to sign a defensively minded central midfielder this summer, and top of their list seems to be Manuel Ugarte of Sporting Lisbon.
The top tier options like Declan Rice seem to be off the table now, so we’re looking further down the list for alternatives still on the bubble. Ugarte is the spiritual successor to Premier League smash hit Joao Palhinha at Sporting CP, and the Uruguayan has allegedly already had his €60m release clause met by both Chelsea and PSG.
That means we can move on to the contract offering stage without too much messing around, and indeed Caughtoffside are citing reports that we’ve done just that.
They say that the 22 year old has been offered a deal already, and that the Uruguay international has already accepted them. That would mean a move is very close indeed. That’s somewhat surprising, given we would expect PSG’s offer to be a very tempting one.
We will be out of Europe next season and are largely at rock bottom overall – perhaps we’ve able to offer him more guaranteed minutes than the Parisians, or perhaps we’re simply moving faster.
Of course there is still some transfer wrangling to be done – we would rather pay a little more than Ugarte’s €60m clause but spread it out into multiple payments – but it should all be very straightforward compared to some more complex negotiations.