According to reports in Portugal, Tottenham Hotspur have set their sights on Sporting CP’s Manuel Ugarte. Portuguese outlet Record – via Sport Witness – has reported about Spurs and their interest in the 21-year-old. Apparently, Tottenham were one of the clubs who recently made contact for his signing. Record claimed that Spurs boss Antonio Conte has spoken to Rodrigo Bentancur, Ugarte’s Uruguay teammate, to talk about the youngster’s potential. As well as Tottenham, the likes of Leicester City, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have been keeping tabs on Ugarte.
The youngster came through the ranks at Uruguayan outfit CA Fenix and joined Portuguese outfit Famalicao in January 2021. Just seven months later, Ugarte made a £5.85m move to Sporting CP, where he has made 47 appearances to date. The last 12 months have also seen him break into the Uruguay senior national team, winning five caps. In May 2020, scouting website Target Scouting deemed Ugarte ‘one of the most exciting players in Uruguay at the moment’, adding that ‘he has a bright future ahead of him’.
Sporting CP’s Manuel Ugarte is the player with the most tackles (15) most duels won (26), and 2nd most interceptions (10) in the UEFA Champions League this season so far. Earlier this year, Liverpool.com published an opinion article urging the Reds to look at Ugarte. For example, he needs to win more defensive duels in order to become a complete holding midfielder. But considering Liverpool are looking for cover in Fabinho’s position and not necessarily a long-term successor, Ugarte could be an ideal profile.
At 21 years of age, he is still extremely young, and there is plenty about him to admire. H competent reading of the game as well as his boisterous energy and creative distribution all make him well-suited to Klopp’s gegenpress and a player who could flourish in the three-man Liverpool midfield.