According to O Jogo (via SportWitness), Liverpool could make a concrete proposal to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Manuel Ugarte this summer.
The Uruguayan is one of the best young defensive midfielders in world football and he appears likely to leave the Portuguese outfit after turning down the option of a new contract.
As per O Jogo, the midfielder’s latest snub could lead to concrete proposals to sign him. Liverpool are mentioned as one of the candidates that could secure his signature.
Ugarte is currently protected with a £52 million clause and O Jogo claim that an offer around that figure could persuade Sporting to part ways with the 22-year-old midfielder.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has already confirmed that the club will strengthen the midfield department this summer and it seems they could make more than one purchase.
Brighton & Hove Albion’s Alexis Mac Allister is the main target for the Merseyside giants and the creative midfielder could sign for them as early as this month if personal terms are agreed.
Klopp may also want a genuine defensive midfielder to replace Fabinho in the long run and Ugarte would be a fabulous purchase, based on his progress with his switch to Sporting.
This campaign, the ex-Famalicao man has completed 91% of his passes. He has also registered a stunning 3.9 tackles and 6.8 ground duels and does not get dispossessed easily.
At 22, he is in the right stage of his career to make a Premier League move. Ugarte could be nurtured by Klopp before he becomes the mainstay in the line-up ahead of Fabinho.
Ugarte has the hallmarks of becoming a world-class midfielder. He still has to improve with his discipline, having accumulated 15 yellow cards and one red card this season.
Liverpool may need to act quick to sign the promising young star, considering there could be many Champions League clubs that could enter the race for him in the coming weeks.