With Sporting having only secured fourth place in the Portuguese Primeira Liga this year, the prospect of Europa League football means the Lisbon club will have to sell some massive first-team players to balance the books. One of the players who seems on the cusp of heading out the door in midst of this compensation is midfield superstar, Manuel Ugarte (22).
Ugarte, also known as ‘Manu’ by his Sporting teammates, seems to be high on the transfer shortlists of Premier League clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa, who are both set to battle for the Uruguayan’s signature come the transfer window. According to Portuguese football outlet, A Bola, Sporting’s stance on the situation is clear: €60 million (£52 million) or nothing.
The reason for this staunch pricing is not necessarily because Sporting don’t want to sell the player, but because of the 30% sell-on fee that is required by Ugarte’s former club, Familicão. This means that selling the player for €60 million (£52 million) would only yield a potential €42 million (£37 million) for Sporting, which is a slightly disappointing figure for arguably their most valuable player.
So how advanced is this transfer saga? A Bola further report that a transfer for Ugarte will be closed within a few days after the end of both the Premier League and the Portuguese Primeira Liga this weekend. They cite data and information received by the publication, as well as a sort of “transfer counterattack” in the strategic horizon of Spurs should Aston Villa make a move on Ugarte.
According to Transfermarkt, Ugarte has made a total of 47 appearances for Sporting CP across two seasons at the club. The Uruguayan plays defensive midfield and has made eight caps for the Uruguayan national team.
Andrew Abrantes | Get Football