By Anthony Onifade

30th Apr, 2023 | 9:10am

Leeds United transfer news as frozen strategy starts in Premier League relegation battle

Leeds United have frozen their attempts to sign Sporting midfielder Manuel Ugarte as they continue to fight for their Premier League future, according to O Jogo.

According to the Portuguese outlet [29 April, page 11], Leeds have watched Ugarte closely both in Portugal and when Sporting took on Arsenal in the Europa League.

However, the talented Uruguayan midfield anchor is also being closely watched by Tottenham, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Newcastle United, as well as suitors in both Spain and Italy, as revealed by Record [29 April, page 10].

“Leeds, for its part, froze hiring because it is at risk of being downgraded,” they wrote.

“It is certain that Ugarte will be one of Sporting’s great summer sales.

“The Lions will keep 70% of the Uruguayan’s two more games – if he plays at least 45 minutes – and know that it will not be possible to renegotiate the contract and increase the termination clause, which is and will remain at 60 million euros [£53m].”

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The continued Leeds United interest in Ugarte is certainly ambitious given his current standing as one of the most promising and exciting young defensive midfielders on the continent.

The 22-year-old holds all the tools to become one of the best of his generation so it is exciting to see Leeds United among the clubs linked with his services.

However, given the Whites’ standing in comparison to other potential suitors, this will have to remain a pipe dream.

And if the report in O Jogo is believed to be true then Leeds United are right to have frozen potential signings as they continue their battle against Premier League relegation.

Even if they remain in the English top flight for next season, it’s incredibly uncertain they’ll be able to acquire Ugarte’s services.

Although the imminent takeover of the 49ers will hopefully allow Leeds to enter the summer transfer window with a strong budget, the likes of Newcastle United and Spurs will probably still have too much spending power for Leeds United to contend with.

£53m will almost certainly be much of their budget this summer so the Whites board can only dare to dream about spending that much money on one quality asset.

In other Leeds United news, an exit-bound senior player was spotted in tears after what happened recently.