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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Reports: Manchester United make first move to sign ‘wonderful’ £51m Copa America midfielder

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Manchester United need to bring in new midfielders this summer and could launch an interesting raid on French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

Full focus will now turn to the summer transfer window with Erik ten Hag’s future as Manchester United boss now settled.

Ineos are keeping Ten Hag at Old Trafford and with that decision now out of the way, United can look towards the transfer market.

Centre backs and striker are the main focus right now with two names featuring strongly on the wish list.

Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite and Bologna forward Joshua Zirkzee are United’s top targets in those roles with deals being worked on.

United do need options in other areas though and at least one midfielder will surely be a priority this summer.

Question marks surround the futures of Christian Eriksen and Casemiro whilst Sofyan Amrabat’s situation is up in the air as his loan move from Fiorentina comes to an end.

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Manuel Ugarte of Uruguay controls the ball during the CONMEBOL Copa America 2024 Group C match between Uruguay and Panama at Hard Rock Stadium on J...

Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

United certainly need to add talent around Kobbie Mainoo in midfield and a new target has now emerged.

Sky Sports report that United are interested in snapping up Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Manuel Ugarte.

It’s suggested that Ugarte is just one of a number of midfielders on the United radar for this summer’s transfer window.

French newspaper L’Equipe go further though, suggesting that United have actually made a firm proposal to sign Ugarte in recent days.

However, the amount United offered – which is undisclosed by L’Equipe – was ‘considered insufficient’ by PSG.

Ugarte only left Portuguese side Sporting last summer, completing a huge €60million (£51million) move to Paris Saint-Germain.

The 23-year-old started 21 Ligue 1 games this past season and was a regular in the Champions League too.

Ugarte’s minutes diminished a little towards the end of the season and that means a swift departure from the French capital is a real possibility.

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Who is United target Ugarte?

Ugarte hails from Montevideo in Uruguay and started his career with local club Fenix, racking up 57 appearances as a teenager.

Portuguese side Famalicao pounced in 2021 but he spent just a few months with the club before being plucked by Sporting.

Ugarte really carved out a reputation as an aggressive defensive midfielder during his time with Sporting, playing a key role under Ruben Amorim.

PSG were suitably impressed and struck a deal to bring Ugarte to France last summer.

Things started well for Ugarte with boss Luis Enrique branding him ‘wonderful’ for his work both off the ball and on the ball.

“He was superb, wonderful,” said Enrique. “I loved him with the ball, I loved him without the ball and also what he did positionally. He gave us a lot of recoveries in high pressure, he played with judgment, he took the ball from one side to the other, he filtered passes and was very powerful in physical duels. A ten for Manu Ugarte,” he added.

Ugarte may be on the market this summer though and PSG could consider offers if they can recoup a large portion of their outlay.

The midfielder is currently away at Copa America with Uruguay but may yet end up heading to Old Trafford when the tournament ends, alongside teammate Facundo Pellistri.

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