Journalist Pete O’Rourke has predicted that Tottenham Hotspur will be actively monitoring Uruguayan midfielder Manuel Ugarte during the World Cup before making a decision on whether to make a move for the player.
Ugarte has established himself as a regular in Sporting Lisbon’s starting lineup this season and was one of the club’s most consistent performers in the first part of the campaign.
The 21-year-old excelled in the Portuguese side’s 2-0 win at home over Tottenham back in September, which was the North London club’s only defeat in the group stages of the Champions League.
Spurs’ interest in Ugarte first came to light last month when Jornal de Noticias claimed that the Premier League had sent scouts to Portugal to watch the youngster in action on multiple occasions this season.
Record subsequently reported that Tottenham faced competition from Paris Saint-Germain for the defensive midfielder’s signature. The report also revealed that the youngster has release clauses of €80m (£68.8m) on his contract.
Ugarte was an unused substitute in Uruguay’s 0-0 draw against South Korea on Thursday and O’Rourke believes Antonio Conte’s men will carefully watch how the midfielder gets on if he is handed an opportunity in Qatar.
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When asked about the Sporting youngster, the journalist told GiveMeSport: “I think Tottenham scouts will be actively monitoring him at the World Cup, and although it might be hard to do a deal in January, it might be something that Spurs look at in the summer.”
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Even if Pape Matar Sarr is to be loaned out, I do not think Tottenham will sign another defensive midfielder in January, given that Conte already has four good options at his disposal. I believe Spurs are more likely to go after a number eight so that Conte has more options if he chooses to deploy a 3-5-2.