Chelsea have reportedly opened talks regarding a summer move for Sporting Lisbon’s Manuel Ugarte.
Chelsea have embarked upon a huge spending spree since Todd Boehly took over at Stamford Bridge 12 months ago, ending the season with a massively bloated squad of over 30 players at Frank Lampard’s disposal.
The club have endured their worst season since the mid 90’s, finishing 14th in the Premier League, just 10 points above the relegation zone and a whopping 27 points off the Champions League places.
Chelsea have confirmed that Mauricio Pochettino will take over the club this summer, and there are expected to be plenty of departures from Stamford Bridge, with Mason Mount set to be one of the big names heading for the exit door.
Despite their bloated squad, the Mail are reporting that Chelsea are looking to sign a defensive midfielder to play alongside club-record signing, Enzo Fernandez.
They say that the club have ‘followed up’ on their scouting of Sporting Lisbon’s Manuel Ugarte, and have now opened talks regarding a move for the midfielder.
The 22-year-old ranks in the 90th percentile for blocks, tackles, interceptions and pass completion among his positional peers, and has a release clause of £53 million in his deal at the José Alvalade Stadium.
Chelsea aren’t the only side interested in Ugarte, however, with PSG and Aston Villa also credited with an interest.
Meanwhile, Ugarte is one of a number of midfield options for the Blues, with Brighton’s Moises Caicedo, Southampton’s Romeo Lavia and Monaco’s Youssouf Fofana all said to be on the club’s radar.