Reports out of Portugal suggest Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa are now ‘shoulder to shoulder’ in the race to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Manuel Ugarte.
The 22-year-old is one of the most highly-rated players in the Portuguese league, but a move to England this summer could potentially be on the cards.
Manuel Ugarte has been impressive across 47 appearances for Sporting Lisbon this season, including displays against Tottenham in the Champions League (Transfermarkt).
A report from O Jogo (29/04/23 as relayed by Sport Witness) linked the player with a move to Spurs as the North London side look to add to their midfield roster.
Liverpool were also thought to be circling the player (Record). According to Fabrizio Romano, there are three Premier League clubs interested in the Uruguayan star, whose release clause of €60 million is likely to be the fee required to prise him away from his current club.
Now, the latest from the newspaper A Bola (24/05/23 – via SportWitness) claims the race for Ugarte’s signature this summer is heating up as Aston Villa and Tottenham battle it out.
Apparently, Villa “tried to take the lead” in the hunt for Ugarte but Tottenham “nearly immediately counter-attacked” and levelled the playing field once more.
It is thought the two clubs are now “shoulder to shoulder” when it comes to the contest to sign Ugarte.
The outlet claims the situation should be resolved shortly after the end of the season, and that negotiations are now “very advanced” and close to a conclusion.
Spurs Web Opinion
Given the fact we are likely to miss out on European football next season, with Villa above us in the league, I can’t imagine Ugarte picking us over them if it comes down to it.
Ugarte would probably get just as much game time at Villa, if not more, too, so I find it difficult to see a future where we win this race.
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