Liverpool are set to miss out on the signing of a crucial midfield target, with Paris Saint-Germain moving ahead of the Reds in the transfer race.
Midfield is one area Jurgen Klopp is intent on improving in the summer window, with that area of his squad in desperate need of a refresh. Sporting midfielder Manuel Ugarte had been identified as the ideal player to slot into the midfield, but one report suggests he could move to PSG instead.
According to Portuguese outlet, Record, Ugarte’s agents were set to speak to Liverpool two weeks ago over a summer transfer. The 22-year-old has impressed in Europe this season against the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham and reportedly has a release clause of £52m.
Record says that though Sporting boss Ruben Amorim wants to retain the Uruguayan for his midfield, the Lisbon giants are ready to negotiate with willing suitors for the player.
Now, though, Record is reporting that PSG are preparing to beat Liverpool to the transfer of the midfielder, with the Ligue 1 side willing to match his £52 million release clause as well. The report suggests Ugarte is currently weighing up the offer and remains open to a move to the French capital.
A physical midfielder who can play either deep or as a No.8, Ugarte would have been suited to either the Fabinho role, with more creative stars either side, or in a slightly more advanced position of the pitch.
Still only 22-years-old, PSG are interested in adding the midfielder to their squad, with stalwart Marco Verratti seemingly on the way out after more than a decade at the club. The PSG hierarchy are also looking to change tact in the transfer market, after their high-profile signings in previous windows haven’t necessarily yielded the results they envisioned.
Ugarte, who is valued at €25m by Transfermarkt, is a target who highlights this change in strategy, though both Liverpool and PSG will work hard to try and complete the signing.