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Paris Saint-Germain to beat Chelsea to Manuel Ugarte signing?

PSG to beat Chelsea to Manuel Ugarte signing?
© Reuters
Chelsea are reportedly ready to withdraw from the race to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Manuel Ugarte after Paris Saint-Germain increased their offer.

Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly moved ahead of Chelsea in the race to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Manuel Ugarte.

Since the end of the Premier League season, it has been well-documented that Chelsea have emerged as admirers of the Uruguay international as they look to strengthen in the centre of the pitch.

The club's recruitment team seemingly identified Ugarte as the ideal partner for Enzo Fernandez and have been prepared to meet his £52m release clause.

However, PSG have always been lurking in the background as the French giants adopt a different transfer strategy and sign younger players.

With Ugarte being 22 years of age and having starred for Sporting, acquiring his signature has become high priority at a time when the likes of Sergio Ramos and Lionel Messi will be coming off the wage bill.

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Christophe Galtier and football advisor Luis Campos during training on August 4, 2022© Reuters

Although Christophe Galtier is expected to depart as head coach, sporting advisor Luis Campos remains as a key figure when it comes to completing transfers, something which appears key in this instance.

According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, PSG have made the decision to substantially improve their contract offer to Ugarte, leading to Chelsea dropping out of the race.

Romano says that Ugarte was interested in a switch to Chelsea before the Blues seemingly withdrew their offer on the back of PSG opting to pay what Chelsea deem to be 'above the market rate'.

A report in Record says that PSG are willing to pay Ugarte a contract worth €10m (£8.6m) per year, doubling what Chelsea were allegedly prepared to shell out.

Chelsea co-owner and chairman Todd Boehly before the match on April 18, 2023© Reuters

The development comes at a time when a further report has indicated that Chelsea's owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital were open to buying a minority stake in Sporting as part of any proposal.

As well as offering Ugarte an eight-year contract, both now seem to be off the table with PSG expected to move swiftly to complete a deal.

While the general consensus is that Chelsea were prioritising Ugarte, they also have other targets with Brighton & Hove Albion's Moises Caicedo on their radar.

Nevertheless, the Seagulls will allegedly demand in the region of £80m for the Ecuador international, who is also attracting interest from Arsenal.

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