The agent of Manuel Ugarte has said the midfielder will be leaving Sporting CP this summer, in news that could alert Wolves.
The Uruguay international has enjoyed a tremendous campaign over in Portugal, having really stepped up following the departures of Matheus Nunes and Joao Palhinha.
Ugarte has been heavily involved for Sporting, making 45 appearances across all competitions.
Ugarte has been in terrific form, showcasing his brilliant ball-winning ability and impressive passing range.
As such, there has been a lot of speculation about his future over the past few months.
And now, the star’s agent Jorge Chijane has added fuel to the fire. He has communicated to Portuguese outlet O Jogo that his client will be on the move.
They quote him as saying: “It is almost certain that he will not stay. It is certain that he will leave.
“I’ll be in Lisbon soon. I trust Jorge Mendes, who is the best businessman in the world. In fact, when I first spoke to him about Ugarte, he said to me, ‘Your eyes are my eyes’.
Earlier this year, Wolves were linked with Ugarte.
It was suggested that Ugarte was actually offered to Wolves by Mendes, as well as a few other clubs such as Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona.
Just lately though, Liverpool have become strongly linked with Ugarte. The Reds are crying out for an overhaul of their midfield this summer.
Chijane said of Liverpool’s interest: “Liverpool? There’s a lot of talk, but it’s not the only club, there are others. There’s a lot of talk, but I’m still not sure about the club. There are many hypotheses on the table.”
Manuel Ugarte set to leave Sporting, but Wolves are up against it to complete transfer
So it looks like Ugarte will be on his way this summer, given the pretty definitive comments of his agent.
But Wanderers face a big challenge getting him in.
He’s been outstanding this season and it is little wonder interest in him is very high.
Liverpool are very strongly linked with him, and he would start every game for them given how badly they need new midfielders.
There are reports stating Liverpool are set to trigger his £52 million release clause. So if Wolves really want Ugarte then they may also have to commit to triggering that clause.
He’d make a fantastic replacement for Ruben Neves as a deep-lying playmaker.