Chelsea are reportedly readying an offer for Sporting Lisbon’s defensive machine Manuel Ugarte, with the player thought to be keen on a move to England.
The Blues have been extremely active in the transfer market in recent windows but appear to be getting ready to invest in their squad once again after a lacklustre Premier League campaign that will see them end the season in the bottom half of the table.
However, things seem to be looking up for the London outfit with Mauricio Pochettino set to join the club as its next manager. Frank Lampard will receive his second farewell as the Blues’ manager on Sunday when they face Newcastle at home.
What’s the latest on Manuel Ugarte to Chelsea?
According to reports in Portugal, Paris Saint-Germain have made a proposal to Sporting Lisbon for Ugarte while Chelsea are getting ready to make an offer of their own.
PSG have made an offer of €60m (£52m) which matches the player’s release clause, however, Chelsea are ready to match the offer which they want to pay in “several installments.”
Todd Boehly recently sent his right-hand man, Alvalade Behdad Eghbali, to watch Ugarte, and Chelsea have been given a boost with the player reportedly preferring a move to Stamford Bridge over the Parc des Princes.
Why is Manuel Ugarte rated so highly?
Talent scout Jacek Kulig dubbed the midfielder a “machine” earlier in the season, backing that up with some remarkable stats at that time. At the end of September, Ugarte won the most tackles and duels in the Champions League this season and had the second-highest in both categories in the Primeira Liga.
Every top side needs a midfielder that is able to consistently interrupt and break down opposition teams, and you could say that Chelsea have been too easy to score against this season, conceding 46 goals in the Premier League.
Signing Ugarte may not magically solve all their problems but playing alongside Enzo Fernandez, he could greatly increase Chelsea’s ability to win the ball back in dangerous areas.
According to Fbref, not only does he rank in the 99th percentile of all midfielders for tackles, averaging 4.63 per 90, he also ranks in the 97th percentile for interceptions, cutting out 2.18 passes per 90. In addition to that, he ranks in the 99th percentile for passes completed per game with an average success rate of 91.6%.
Ugarte’s numbers are solid and he’s proven in the Champions League that he is ready for the next step in his career, so this could be one to watch.