Mauricio Pochettino phones Manuel Ugarte after PSG reportedly beaten Chelsea in race for Sporting CP midfielder

Sporting Lisbon's Uruguayan midfielder Ugarte leaves the pitch after being shown a red card during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second-leg football match between Arsenal and Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 16, 2023. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino has contacted Manuel Ugarte in a bid to convince the midfielder to move to Chelsea this summer, according to reports in Portugal.

Chelsea are competing with Paris Saint-Germain for the Uruguay international, with both clubs ready to meet the Sporting midfielder’s €60 million (£51.5m) release clause.

According to Record, Ugarte’s preference is to join Chelsea and play in the Premier League but the 22-year-old is torn as he has received a significantly better offer from PSG.

The report claims that contract proposal from the French champions is worth around €3m (£2.5m) more per season than Chelsea’s offer.

However, Ugarte is one of Pochettino’s priority midfield targets and it’s claimed that the new Chelsea manager has spoken to the midfielder to help the club’s push.

PSG, meanwhile, have another advantage over Chelsea are they are ready to offer a more favourable deal to Sporting for the Uruguayan.

Chelsea have offered to pay Ugarte’s €60m (£51.5m) clause in multiple instalments but PSG are willing to split the cost across two payments of €30m (£25.7m).

It’s understood that Chelsea’s attempt to include striker David Datro Fofana as part of the deal for Ugarte but that offer has been rejected by Sporting.

Speaking earlier this month, Ugarte’s agent said that the midfielder is very likely to leave Sporting this summer.

‘It’s almost certain that he won’t stay, it’s sure he’ll leave,’ Jorge Chijane told O Jogo.

‘There is a lot of talk, but I am still not sure about the club. There are many possibilities on the table.’

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