Manchester United lead race to sign Manuel Ugarte

Manchester United are reportedly ahead of their rivals in the race to sign Uruguayan midfielder Manuel Ugarte from Ligue 1 champions PSG.

Just a year after his high-profile arrival at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in a deal worth €60 million, Manuel Ugarte is already being linked with a move away from Parc des Princes, with Manchester United vying for his signature.

The Uruguayan international had a tumultuous season at Parc des Princes, oscillating between a promising start and subsequent periods of limited playtime. Initially met with scepticism, Ugarte quickly won over Parisian supporters with standout performances, particularly against Lyon early in the season. His tenacity, relentless energy, and ability to maintain pressure on the field earned him admiration from fans.

However, PSG manager Luis Enrique, while acknowledging Ugarte’s strengths, pointed out a slight technical deficit. This perceived shortcoming led to the 23-year-old being sidelined in crucial matches, reducing his role primarily to Ligue 1 appearances, where he made only 21 starts.

The situation has cast a shadow over his future at the club, despite his commendable performances. With Enrique and PSG’s sporting director Luis Campos having significant influence over transfer decisions, Ugarte faces an uncertain path at PSG.

Opportunity awaits in Manchester?

According to Foot Mercato, Manchester United have emerged as the front-runners in the race to secure Ugarte’s services. Despite an initial offer being turned down by PSG, the Red Devils remain keen on the 23-year-old.

Ugarte has also caught the attention of other European giants, including Atlético de Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, and Bayern Munich. Diego Simeone of Atlético Madrid has even presented his vision for Ugarte within his team. However, the financial constraints of these clubs could hinder their pursuit.

PSG have set Ugarte’s price tag at €60 million, the same amount they paid a year ago. While this figure may be manageable for Manchester United, it presents a significant hurdle for other interested parties. The Red Devils’ ability to finance this transfer depends on their success in offloading players to streamline their squad.

A fresh beginning

The transfer saga surrounding Ugarte is far from over. Despite rumours and interest from various clubs, PSG have not explicitly requested Ugarte to leave. Nonetheless, Luis Enrique’s communication to the player that he is not in future plans suggests a possible exit. Ugarte, currently shining under Marcelo Bielsa’s guidance at the Copa America, appears ready to explore new opportunities.

Manchester United’s pursuit of Manuel Ugarte reflects their intent to address a key weakness in their roster. With Casemiro regressing, the time is now for the Red Devils to bring in a dynamic young defensive midfielder with a no-nonsense approach. Ugarte certainly fits that bill and could develop into a first-XI mainstay at Old Trafford for years to come.

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