Barcelona Targets 21-Year-Old South American Star as Solution to Midfield Struggles
Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly battling it out in the race to secure the signature of highly-rated South American midfielder, Manuel Ugarte.
According to a recent report by Spanish outlet SPORT , Ugarte has emerged as a potential alternative for Martin Zubimendi, who is believed to be the top target for Barcelona’s Xavi. Ugarte’s impressive performances have not gone unnoticed, as he has also caught the eye of Tottenham, who are keen on bolstering their midfield options.
The 21-year-old Uruguayan has been a revelation since arriving in Europe, first with Famalicao before moving to Sporting CP in August 2021. He has become an integral part of the Sporting CP team this season, making 72 appearances and contributing one goal and two assists.
Barcelona is reportedly in search of a long-term successor for veteran midfielder, Sergio Busquets, who is well into his thirties and no longer as consistent as before. Ugarte has emerged as a viable option for the Catalan giants, with discussions already held between his agent Jorge Mendes and Barcelona officials.
Tottenham’s interest in Ugarte has come as a surprise, given Antonio Conte’s abundance of defensive-minded midfielders. However, the north London club is still keen on the South American, who is among their top transfer targets.
Meanwhile, Sporting CP may use the potential sale of Francisco Trincao to Barcelona for €7 million to bring down Ugarte’s asking price. It remains to be seen which club will win the race for the talented midfielder’s signature.
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