Newcastle United have sent scouts to watch Sporting CP star Manuel Ugarte ahead of a potential summer swoop, with Chelsea and Liverpool also monitoring the 22-year-old midfield destroyer.

According to Football Insider, Newcastle United have been keeping close tabs on the progress of Sporting CP defensive midfielder Manuel Ugarte, who is also a target for Chelsea and Liverpool.

This is not the first time the midfield enforcer has been linked with a move to St. James Park, with reports coming out earlier this week that the Magpies were scouting the Uruguayan midfielder. The combative midfielder has been a Sporting player since 2021 and has developed significantly during that time.

He has racked up 81 appearances for the club, finding the back of the net only once while collecting 21 yellow cards, which indicates the type of midfielder he is. Ugarte has continued to impress for Sporting this season in his 44 appearances in all competitions, notably shining in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League games.

It looks like he’s being viewed as a potential money-maker transfer sale by Sporting to generate revenue for transfers ahead of next season. But they would not take anything less than the £53 million release clause inserted in the 22-year-old’s contract running through the summer of 2026.

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The Uruguayan is a midfield powerhouse who ticks most boxes for a high-quality defensive midfielder that Newcastle are looking for as they look to bolster their already impressive midfield roster.

He is tenacious and can play in a number of positions in the middle of the park, making Newcastle’s midfield even more dynamic and allowing the creative Bruno Guimaraes to push up the pitch in more of an attacking midfielder role.

Having said that, the Magpies do not have a clear run in the hunt for his signature in the upcoming window and face competition from Premier League rivals Liverpool and Chelsea.

The decision to abandon what would have been a club-record fee pursuit for Jude Bellingham recently has opened up the prospect of Liverpool’s transfer budget being spread across a handful of other, more cost-effective options instead as Jurgen Klopp prepares for a midfield rebuild this coming summer.

Since then, the Reds have inevitably been linked with a vast array of central midfielders and are already making moves to lure Brighton midfielder Alexis Mac Allister to Anfield. Should Ugarte make the move to Merseyside, he would most likely serve as a long-term replacement for the waning Fabinho in the number six role at Liverpool.

Also Read: Liverpool keen on Manuel Ugarte: The Engine to Jurgen Klopp’s Ferrari?

Similarly, Chelsea will have to bring in a reliable partner for Enzo Fernandez in the summer. The former Benfica midfielder is the only senior defensive midfielder at the club who has a contract beyond this summer, with N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic set to be out of contract come the end of the season.

Ugarte will be a perfect replacement for the Frenchman. But Chelsea will face fierce competition for his signature. Moreover, the lack of Champions League football could work against them. So it will be interesting to see where the £53 million-rated midfielder lands this summer.

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