Chelsea have joined Liverpool and Aston Villa in the race for Sporting CP midfielder Manuel Ugarte, according to Record.
The 22-year-old is poised to leave the Portuguese giants this summer, and Chelsea are the latest Premier League side interested in his signature.
Liverpool and Villa are also showing interest in Ugarte after being impressed with his performances for Sporting this season.
Sporting have resigned to losing the Uruguayan defensive midfielder at the end of the season, but only if interested parties trigger the player’s €60 million release clause.
Chelsea will not be able to offer Ugarte European football, but the Blues still have a strong chance of luring the player to West London.
The Blues chief Todd Boehly reportedly has a good relationship with Ugarte’s agent Jorge Mendes with the American businessman a keen admirer of Portuguese football.
Mendes will oversee Ugarte’s impending transfer this summer, and Boehly’s relationship with the Portuguese agent could help Chelsea steal a march on other potential suitors.
Reports in Portugal suggest Ugarte’s agents will meet with the club this week to discuss the player’s future, with a summer departure on the cards.
Ugarte joined Sporting in 2021 as a replacement for Joao Palhinha, who joined Fulham last summer.
He has impressed in two seasons with Ruben Amorim’s side scoring seven goals in 97 appearances which could soon earn him a move to the Premier League.
Chelsea are planning a summer rebuild, with Mauricio Pochettino set to take over as permanent manager at the end of the season.
The defensive midfield role is a priority for Chelsea, and Ugarte could represent a cheaper option for the club.
Chelsea have also been linked with West Ham United’s Declan Rice, Southampton’s Romeo Lavia, and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Moises Caicedo.
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