Newcastle United ready for transfer battle with Tottenham Hotspur over £53m-rated Uruguay star

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The Magpies are said to be tracking the highly-rated midfielder.

Sporting Lisbon are ready to hand a new contract to highly-rated midfielder Manuel Ugarte amid reported interest from Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur.

The Uruguay international has forged a strong reputation as a consistent and effective presence ever since joining Sporting in a £4.5m move from league rivals Famalicao in the summer of 2021. Since making that switch, the 21-year-old has gone on to make 67 appearances in all competitions and helped his new side claim the Portugese League Cup with a 2-1 win against Benfica in January.

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Enzo Fernandez (R) vies with Sporting's Uruguayan midfielder Manuel Ugarte during the Portuguese League football match between SL Benfica and Sporting CP Enzo Fernandez (R) vies with Sporting's Uruguayan midfielder Manuel Ugarte during the Portuguese League football match between SL Benfica and Sporting CP
Enzo Fernandez (R) vies with Sporting's Uruguayan midfielder Manuel Ugarte during the Portuguese League football match between SL Benfica and Sporting CP | AFP via Getty Images

A physical and combative presence in the heart of the midfield, Ugarte has received nine yellow cards in 29 appearances in all competitions this season as his side have fallen 18 points behind runaway league leaders Benfica as the season passes its halfway mark.

His form in Portugal did lead to a maiden senior call-up to the Uruguay squad in September 2021 and Ugarte was named in their squad for the World Cup Finals in Qatar - but remained an unused substitute in all three group games as his side failed to progress from a group containing Portugal, Ghana and South Korea.

There were claims both Newcastle and Spurs were keen on a move for Ugarte during the transfer window as both Premier League clubs looked to add more physical presence to their midfield options. Portuguese outlet Record have now suggested their initial interest could be followed up during the summer transfer window and revealed Ugarte has a release clause in his current deal worth around £53m.

However, the report also states Sporting are ‘hopeful’ they can tie the midfielder down to a long-term contract that would see his release clause raised to over £70m in a bid to warn off interest from both Premier League clubs at the end of the season.

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