Tottenham have a small amount of time to capture midfielder Manuel Ugarte for a good price as Sporting Lisbon have come up with a plan to make more money on him, according to a report.
Ugarte came through the ranks at CA Fenix in his native Uruguay before moving to Portugal in January 2021. He joined Famalicao in a deal worth just over €4million. Ugarte would only make 21 appearances for the club before a big move beckoned.
Primeira Liga giants Sporting took him to Lisbon in August 2021, with the star penning a five-year contract.
Ugarte impressed during his debut campaign at Sporting, making 39 appearances across all competitions as they won the Allianz Cup, Portugal’s league cup.
Ugarte also picked up Champions League experience, making four appearances in the competition. Sporting were ultimately knocked out by Manchester City in the round of 16.
The midfield enforcer remains an important player for Sporting, having played in all of their league games before the World Cup.
He was a part of the Uruguay squad for the tournament in Qatar, but sadly he did not get off the bench as they failed to get out of Group H.
Ugarte is now back at Sporting, although he might not be there for much longer. Reports claim he is on Tottenham’s radar as Antonio Conte wants to bolster his midfield options.
Tottenham battling Atletico, PSG for player
Sport Witness provide an update on Tottenham’s hunt for Ugarte, while citing Portuguese newspaper Record. They claim Spurs are in a three-club race which also involves Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
Sporting are aware of the growing interest in their player. But rather than admit defeat and put Ugarte in the shop market, Ruben Amorim’s side are planning a new contract to keep his potential suitors at bay.
They want to raise his release clause from €60m (£53m) to €80m (£71m). And given the fact they are in contract discussions with Ugarte and his agent, Spurs have a relatively short period of time to get him for the smaller fee.
£53m is definitely achievable for Spurs. They spent £60m to sign Brazil striker Richarlison from Everton in July. And the most they have ever forked out for a player is £63m, which saw Tanguy Ndombele swap Lyon for north London in 2019.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy would be happy to spend £53m on Ugarte, as long as Conte views it as the ideal signing to take his midfield to the next level.
However, if Sporting are successful and manage to sort out a new contract, then Spurs would need to spend £71m on Ugarte. Levy would likely refuse to meet this valuation, and this would result in Spurs missing out on the player.
Spurs should move for Manuel Ugarte soon to avoid price hike
Therefore, it is definitely in Spurs’ interests to sign Ugarte sooner rather than later, as long as they are serious about landing him.
A cheaper alternative to Ugarte is Weston McKennie. Juventus are actively looking to sell the USA star, which means they will accept far less than Sporting would for Ugarte.
Bournemouth recently began talks for McKennie’s capture. In some good news for Spurs though, he has rejected their advances. Instead, McKennie is holding out for a move to either Spurs or Chelsea.
Due to the price difference and McKennie’s club preferences, it might be better if Spurs try and engineer a deal with Juve, rather than target Ugarte.
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