Chelsea Outbid Top Target’s Release Clause With Pochettino Immediately Deprived Of One Player In Return

Chelsea are willing to pay more than they need to in order to win the race to sign Manuel Ugarte from Sporting CP, according to a report in Portugal.

Ugarte has become a top target for Chelsea as he prepares to leave Sporting this summer. Paris Saint-Germain appear to be the leading contenders to offer him a new challenge, but the Blues are firmly in contention as well.

This time last week, a ‘concrete’ bid from Chelsea was reportedly in the pipeline. Their interest was later confirmed by a trusted source on Friday.

Now, an update from A Bola has made it clear that Chelsea are actually willing to overpay for Ugarte.

The Uruguay international has a €60m (£52m) release clause in his contract. But apparently, Chelsea are ready to make an offer worth even more in an attempt to beat the competition for his signature.

In addition, they are willing to give Sporting their pick of a player to take on loan in the opposite direction. Presumably, they will have a shortlist of fringe players they would make available. They certainly have a big enough squad to be able to shed some.

Thanks to their strategy, Chelsea might have a good chance of winning the race for Ugarte. However, it has emerged that PSG would also be willing to outbid the value of his release clause.

And like Chelsea, they have already told Sporting what their intentions are. Thus, there is an understanding is Lisbon that he is about to leave; it just remains to be seen in which direction.

Ball in Chelsea target’s court

Ultimately, Ugarte will have the final say if his release clause is activated. Therefore, Chelsea will have to work on persuading him to choose them over PSG.

Given the fact that they won’t have European football on offer next season, whereas PSG will be in the Champions League, that might be a challenge.

They will have to hope the lure of the Premier League proves too powerful, while also emphasising the appeal of their new project under incoming head coach, Mauricio Pochettino.

For the time being, there are some bureaucratic issues for Ugarte to resolve with Sporting. But he may have already said his goodbyes to the club’s supporters, despite his contract there lasting until 2026.

According to Football Insider, Chelsea are offering the 22-year-old a five-year deal, which would last until 2028.

He could become their next big purchase from the Portuguese league after they broke the British transfer record to take Enzo Fernandez from Benfica in January.

Fernandez’s arrival was the first step of a potential midfield rebuild at Stamford Bridge this summer. N’Golo Kante is approaching the end of his contract, while the likes of Mason Mount, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mateo Kovacic are attracting serious interest from elsewhere.

Therefore, after aggressively spending in the past two transfer windows under Todd Boehly, Chelsea look ready to invest more in their playing squad.

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