Liverpool could be threatened with FIFA sanctions as pursuit of £52m star edges closer

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The midfielder has been a target for several Premier League teams, including the Reds.

Liverpool could be in danger of breaking FIFA rules in their pursuit of Sporting Lisbon’s Manuel Ugarte.

The midfielder has impressed this season with the Portuguese club in the Champions League and Europa League and has topped many a chart for defensive actions that have caught the eye of the big clubs in Europe.

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One includes Liverpool, who are reportedly eyeing up the £52m release clause of the 22-year-old Uruguay.

According to Portuguese outlet Correio da Manhã via Sport Witness, Sporting haven’t allowed Ugarte to speak to other clubs at the moment. It means if Liverpool are found guilty to have spoken to the player or his representatives before the transfer window, they could face sanctions by football’s governing bodies.

Clubs are forbidden from agreeing personal terms with a player who hasn’t been given permission by his current side under UEFA and FIFA rules. Clubs found guilty can be fined or even have transfer bans imposed upon them.

In terms of a potential move, things began to heat up recently when Ugarte’s agent, Jorge Chiljane, revealed Liverpool are one of a few clubs involved.

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“Liverpool? There is a lot of talk, but it is not the only club, there are others. There is much talk, but I am still not sure about the club. There are many possibilities on the table.

“It’s almost certain that he won’t stay, it’s sure he’ll leave. I believe that in 15 days the situation will be resolved.”

Having played 46 games in all competitions this season, Ugarte has emerged as an integral figure to Rúben Amorim’s side but the club currently sits 4th and are out of every other competition.

A move looks continually likely as his position, defensive midfield, is an area that is currently being targeted by the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham, to name a few.

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