Chelsea are providing tough competition to French giants PSG for the signing of Manuel Ugarte from Sporting CP.
It was reported that PSG were the clear favourites to sign the midfielder as they have already submitted their initial offer to the Portuguese club. But Chelsea were later reported to be in the race as well.
The Uruguayan has a €60 million release clause in his contract but Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano reported that PSG’s offer was on different terms as they chose not to trigger the release clause.
Chelsea, on the other hand, are looking to trigger the release clause and offering further incentives and bonuses to Sporting Lisbon. This might put the Blues in the front seat to complete the deal.
Chelsea also seem to have the upper hand in the transfer battle as the 22-year-old reportedly prefers a move to the Premier League over France.
The player is said to be appreciated by incoming boss Mauricio Pochettino and could be his first signing at Chelsea.
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Ugarte is seen as a good option for the defensive-midfield role but Chelsea have also expressed interest in Brighton’s Moises Caicedo and West Ham’s Declan Rice.
Chelsea have struggled to find a balance in the middle of the park and that has been a major contributor to their poor 2022/23 campaign. It was highlighted in the Thursday night fixture at Old Trafford when Man United ran riot through the Chelsea midfield scoring four times.
Chelsea are set for their lowest finish in Premier League history as they are confirmed to be finishing in the bottom half of the table. This comes as an unwanted start under new owner Todd Boehly.
Boehly has not shied away from spending the big bucks having already spent upwards of £550 million on the squad in less than a year. This has led to a massive squad size which now needs to be cut down as well to enable better management.
It would not come as a surprise if Chelsea were to steal Ugarte from under PSG’s nose as an aggressive recruitment strategy has been practised under the American owner. He will be looking to fix the areas of concern in the team as fast as possible.