Sporting Lisbon midfielder Manuel Ugarte is “very close to becoming a new Chelsea player” according to journalist Franco Fernandez.
The reporter, who works for Uruguayan radio station Sport 890, claims a six-year contract is being hashed out ahead of a €65m (£56m) transfer:
Manuel Ugarte muy cerca de convertirse en nuevo jugador del Chelsea. Contrato por 6 años, cerca de 65 millones de Euros. Su anhelo por jugar en la Premier League cada vez está más cerca. pic.twitter.com/Nn0q4KtKwN
— Franco Fernández (@FernandezSurkov) May 25, 2023
It should be pointed out that Ugarte’s release clause is €60m (£52m) so it’s likely that, as with Enzo Fernandez, Chelsea have decided to pay a slightly higher figure in order to ensure they don’t pay the full amount upfront.
Whether things are as advanced as Fernandez is claiming, we shall have to wait and see. At the time of writing, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Chelsea are interested in Ugarte but that Paris Saint-Germain aree the only team who had made a formal bid so far.
With the player being Uruguayan, Fernandez may simply have more informed sources on the player’s side, but there is no way to tell how accurate his information is currently.
Chelsea Have Targeted A Holding Midfielder To Take The Pressure Off Fernandez
If Ugarte does make the switch to Stamford Bridge, his role will likely be to take some of the defensive responsibilities off Enzo Fernandez.
The Argentinian has been the lone anchor man in midfield since his arrival from Benfica in January and he needs more support in the middle of the park.