Paris Saint-Germain are closing in on the signing of Sporting CP midfielder Manuel Ugarte, 90min understands, after Chelsea pulled back from a move for the 22-year-old.
PSG agreed personal terms with Ugarte last month after making the Uruguay international one of their primary transfer targets, but saw their move complicated by rival interest from the big-spending Blues.
Chelsea, who are looking to strengthen their options in central midfield, put forward a healthy offer to Sporting in the hope of luring Ugarte to Stamford Bridge, but their efforts were met with resistance from the player and his representatives, who pushed to complete a move to the French capital.
Sources have now confirmed to 90min that Chelsea backed away from the deal and PSG are now finalising the details of Ugarte’s proposed transfer, which will reward the player with significantly higher wages than those on offer in west London.
New Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino has a number of other shortlisted players to choose from, with Brighton’s Moises Caicedo and West Ham’s Declan Rice seen as preferred targets at this stage.
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Monaco’s Youssouf Fofana, PSV Eindhoven’s Ibrahim Sangare and Southampton’s Romeo Lavia are also appreciated by Chelsea officials, as is Ajax’s Edson Alvarez, although the latter is expected to join Borussia Dortmund.
Midfield is key focus for Chelsea this summer as the Blues prepare to bid farewell to Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who are being targeted by Manchester City and AC Milan, respectively. There is also uncertainty over the futures of Mason Mount and Conor Gallagher.
N’Golo Kante, whose contract expires this summer, has seen talks over an extension at Stamford Bridge stall and is now considering his options, including interest from both PSG and clubs in Saudi Arabia.
On this week’s edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Toby Cudworth and Graeme Bailey to discuss Harry Kane, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, Alexis Mac Allister, Karim Benzema, William Saliba & more!
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