By Craig Scott

29th Mar, 2023 | 8:10am

Leeds United ready possible attack to sign Sporting CP midfielder Manuel Ugarte

Leeds United are readying a “possible attack” to sign Sporting CP midfielder Manuel Ugarte this summer, according to O Jogo.

The Portuguese football newspaper reported on Tuesday (28 March, page 10) that Aston Villa, Newcastle United, Tottenham and Wolves are also in the hunt to sign the 21-year-old Uruguay international, who also has suitors in Italy in the form of AC Milan and Roma.

O Jogo references a report from NumeroDiez, which claims that Ugarte’s performances in the Europa League have caught the eye of Milan and Roma, who are impressed by the defensive midfielder’s “drive”.

O Jogo reported on 27 March that Leeds have sent scouts to watch Ugarte play at the Emirates against Arsenal in the Europa League.

It is understood that he has a release clause worth £52.7million and Sporting expect to receive close to that in the summer.

Too soon

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We doubt Leeds are looking too closely at their summer transfer targets.

There’s no doubt that Victor Orta has a list of players he’d look to sign whether Leeds are in the Premier League or in the Championship this summer – and Ugarte is definitely on the former list.

Ugarte has emerged as one of the best young talents in European football at Sporting over the last couple of seasons.

He’s played 37 times for the Lisbon giants this season in all competitions, picking up an incredible 14 yellow cards and one red card.

Although he was sent off against Arsenal in extra time and missing Sporting’s winning penalty shoot-out at the Emirates, he still did enough in his 118 minutes of action to impress scouts.

Leeds are well-stocked in the middle of the park right now.

Tyler Adams, Marc Roca and Weston McKennie will presumably be here next season if we stay up but we will need to add more depth.

Signing Ugarte for anywhere near that release clause wouldn’t make him an option for depth, however. He’d have to be the first name on the teamsheet.

We just don’t see it happening at this stage, to be honest.

In other Leeds United news, the 49ers agree with Andrea Radrizzani over an issue angering Leeds fans.

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