Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been boosted in his reported quest to sign Manuel Ugarte with his agent opening up over a move to Anfield with a telling transfer hint.
The Merseysiders are planning for a huge summer rebuild after a disappointing 2022/23 campaign. Indeed, while a late season rally has propelled them back into Champions League contention, the run may come too late to overhaul Manchester United or Newcastle in the top-four hunt.
Regardless of where they finish, Klopp is planning wholesale changes to his playing pool to propel Liverpool back into trophy contention next season. And the restruction of his midfield will be the Reds’ major focus.
And with Klopp having options aplenty, he will work alongside incoming new sporting director Jorg Schmadtke on bringing at least three of those targets to the club.
The German has been hand-picked by Klopp to replace the departing Julian Ward as Liverpool’s transfer guru. And the two men are already reportedly at work at finalising Liverpool’s summer business.
Klopp’s primary target is likely to be Brighton star Alexis Mac Allister. The Argentina midfielder is enjoying an outstanding campaign, scoring 12 times already and helping his nation to World Cup glory.
Manuel Ugarte agent talks up Liverpool move
To boost Liverpool’s chances, a clause in his contract will help facilitate a move away from the Amex. And Liverpool have also learned that Brighton interest in a much-loved Reds star could help reduce their outlay further.
The Reds though also have interest in Sporting Lisbon star Ugarte.
The 22-year-old Uruguayan is now in his second season at the Portuguese giants having moved from Famalicao for just €6.5m in summer 2021.
And the defensive midfielder has been a virtual ever-present in their side since signing, playing 45 times already this season.
Indeed, he has emerged as one of the finest No 6’s in the world game. Expertly shielding the Sporting defence, he average 4.3 tackles per game and also has a 90.2% passing success rate.
By contrast, Liverpool’s current No 6, Fabinho – whom may see as a fading force – has averaged just 1.8 successful tackles per game this season.
As a result, it is easy to see why clubs are queuing up to sign Ugarte. And reports of late claim the eight-times capped Uruguayan star has a growing appreciation from Liverpool.
To that end, a report claims the Reds are prepared to match Ugarte’s exit clause in a bid to prise him to Anfield.
Ugarte transfer gets Jorge Mendes helping hand
Now Ugarte’s agent has responded to that report. And Jorge Chijane, speaking to O Jogo, claims his client will change clubs this summer.
“Liverpool? There is a lot of talk, but it is not the only club, there are others. There’s much talk, but I am still not sure about the club. There are many possibilities on the table.”
Suggesting a decision on his future will be finalised before the end of May, the representative added: “It’s almost certain that he won’t stay. And I am sure he will leave. I believe that in 15 days the situation will be resolved.”
Revealing that super-agent Jorge Mendes is also playing a role in securing a transfer, Chijane added: “Soon I’ll be in Lisbon. I trust Jorge Mendes, who is the best agent in the world. In fact, when I told him about Ugarte for the first time, he said to me: ‘Your eyes are my eyes’.”
Sporting are keen to tie Ugarte down to a new deal in light of the growing interest in the player.
He has a €60m (£54m) clause in his current deal, gifting Liverpool the perfect chance to seal his signing.