By Daniel Feliciano

11th May, 2023 | 11:10am

Manuel Ugarte 'Almost Certain' to leave Sporting CP, flight scheduled for England amid Leeds United £60m transfer interest

Manuel Ugarte is “almost certain” to leave Sporting CP this summer amid interest from Leeds and Liverpool, with O Jogo claiming there is a flight to England scheduled.

The defensive midfielder has become one of the hottest properties in Europe ahead of the window and has a £60m release clause, with Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds named as clubs who want to sign the Uruguay international.

But according to O Jogo (11 May), who spoke to his agent Jorge Chijane, a move away is likely to be resolved in the next 15 days with Liverpool leading the race for his signature.

“It’s almost certain that he won’t stay, it’s sure he’ll leave,” he said.

“Liverpool? There is a lot of talk, but it is not the only one club, there are others. There is a lot of talk, but I am still not sure about the club. There are many hypotheses on the table.

“I believe that in 15 days the situation will be resolved.”

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The article goes on to state that there will be a meeting in the coming days, with a flight for the player already scheduled to come to England.

“In the coming days, Jorge Mendes, Jorge Chijane and Frederico Varandas will sit down at the table to find the best solution for the parties involved, and the decision seems to have been taken and Ugarte will not even stay in Alvalade, having his flight scheduled for England, where Liverpool are positioned to welcome him.”

Too much

Similarly to last summer when Leeds wanted to sign Cody Gakpo and Charles De Ketelaere, their best hope was moving quickly and hoping none of the bigger and richer clubs were also interested.

In the end they missed out on those deals and the same thing looks likely to happen again with Ugarte with such strong interest.

Add to that the fact that we’re really struggling to even be a Premier League side next season, and we must have alternatives lined up for far less money to strengthen the squad in the same area.

The likelihood is that Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and potentially even Marc Roca too will move on in the summer if we get relegated and we will need far more than just a marquee signing to bolster us.

The priority has to be staying in the division before we start thinking about summer transfers, but it’s fair to probably write off Ugarte as an option at this point.

In other Leeds news, the club have tabled an offer for an out of contract Premier League ace.