Liverpool’s options are heaving when it comes to revamping their midfield. While talks with Alexis Mac Allister and Mason Mount are ongoing and remain the focal points of the club’s pursuit, other conversations are also being held.
Jurgen Klopp remains interested in Sporting CP’s Manuel Ugarte but Paris Saint-Germain are close to snapping him up. Correio da Manha says that the French giants have agreed to pay Ugarte’s £52 million release clause, despite the fact other Portuguese media have reported that the Reds seem the most likely to gain his signature this summer.
According to Record (via Sport Witness), Liverpool are ‘closest to an assault’ for Ugarte, who has been listed as one of Sporting’s players with the ‘most market’.
The Primeira Liga outfit want to have their squad airtight and ready to go by the time pre-season rolls around, and that includes tying up any loose ends in the transfer window. This could include the sale of several players, including Ugarte.
While Liverpool were right in the thick of it to bring Ugarte to Anfield, it’s said he is expected to sign a five-year deal with PSG, which snub both Liverpool and Chelsea.
Earlier this year, Record praised Ugarte for his performance against Midtjylland and said he looked like he was “tireless” and “made of steel” while out on the pitch for Sporting.
Ugarte can operate both centrally and in a deeper role but he is a defensive midfielder by trade and will likely pose some healthy competition for Fabinho. The Brazilian quickly established himself as Klopp’s first choice for the No.6 position after arriving from Monaco in 2018 and has faced no real threat of losing his place since then.
However, despite being a reliable piece of Klopp’s set up, bringing in a player seven years Fabinho’s junior would provide an interesting extra option. At the very least, Ugarte would be a crucial back-up option for Liverpool’s current midfield, which is something they are prioritising this summer.