Aston Villa could reportedly seal a club-record transfer for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Manuel Ugarte as early as next week.
What’s the latest Aston Villa transfer news?
NSWE are set to back Unai Emery with a “huge” spending spree this summer, although the manager’s full focus is currently on the final Premier League game of the season against Brighton.
Villa are looking to qualify for the Europa Conference League on the final day, and doing that could help them in their pursuit of new signings. One player who has been linked with a move to the Midlands is Ugarte, and a further update has emerged over a possible transfer for the Uruguay international.
Sport Witness relayed a transfer update from Newspaper A Bola in the last 48 hours regarding Ugarte. They said that Villa and Tottenham are battling it out for the midfielder’s signature, with the winning side needing to pay Ugarte’s €60m release clause, a figure which would smash the current transfer record at Villa Park.
The report adds that the transfer should be closed in the days following the end of the season, as the negotiations are ‘very advanced’, with both Villa and Spurs having the chance to win the race.
However, since then, Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Paris Saint-Germain have joined the race for the player and have discussed a deal.
Who is Manuel Ugarte?
Ugarte appears to be at the top of his game with a career-high €25m Transfermarkt valuation and is primarily a defensive midfielder who can also turn out in a central midfield role.
The 22-year-old, hailed as a “midfield machine” by football talent scout Jacek Kulig, has been with Sporting since 2021 and has made 85 appearances for the club, 47 of which have come during the current campaign.
As per WhoScored, Ugarte has been one of Sporting’s best-performing players this season and actually has a better average match rating than any Aston Villa player. The no-nonsense midfielder tops the charts for tackles and interceptions made per 90, while also boasting a pass completion rate of more than 91%.
Therefore, with Villa potentially playing in Europe next season, you can see why the club are looking at signing someone like Ugarte, who has turned out in both the Champions League and Europa League this season.
Who knows, whoever finishes in seventh place out of Villa and Spurs this weekend could have a better chance of winning the race for Ugarte, with a deal possibly wrapped up early next month, making this one to keep an eye on.