Liverpool scouts flew out to Portugal this weekend to keep an eye on reported target Manuel Ugarte.
Ugarte was in action for Sporting as they took on Famalicao in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. And according to The Daily Mail, Reds talent-spotters were in attendance at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
They weren’t alone in travelling out to watch the 22-year-old, though. It’s claimed that Newcastle United also kept a watching brief over Ugarte. The Magpies are said to be monitoring the performances of another reported Liverpool target – Khephren Thuram – as well.
Liverpool step up interest in Ugarte
Ugarte has quickly emerged as a real option for Liverpool in the transfer market this summer. The Uruguayan has some of the best tackling stats in the whole of Europe and looks like a potentially ideal successor to Fabinho.
The Reds have reportedly had their interest piqued by such an emergence. So much so that they’re claimed to have already been in contact with Ugarte over a move.
Liverpool are said to know that they have to move quickly for Ugarte, though. With other sides catching wind of his £53m release clause [O Jogo], he’s going to be a man in demand over the coming couple of months.
Having been dormant for a long time, Newcastle are now one of the sides posing a real threat to Liverpool. Champions League football is likely to be on offer at St James’ Park and not Anfield next season. That might make the Reds a harder sell to the likes of Ugarte.
As a result, it’s imperative that they move quickly and decisively on any and all targets. Hesitate or get messed around by a player, and they’ll have to walk away.
On this particular occasion, Ugarte lasted 73 minutes of his side’s 2-1 win. According to Fotmob he won 100% of his tackles, 100% of his aerial duels, made four recoveries and four interceptions. A good day at the office and one that could help determine his next move.