Tottenham Hotspur scouts will actively monitor Sporting Lisbon midfielder Manuel Ugarte at the World Cup, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.
The 21-year-old is currently with the Uruguay squad and has been linked with a move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
What is the latest news involving Ugarte?
Last month, Record reported that Tottenham have joined Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign Ugarte.
A deal, however, could be less than simple, with the Portuguese outlet claiming that Sporting want to increase the Uruguayan’s current release clause to €80m (around £69m).
Ugarte has already shown Spurs what he can do, helping his side to a 2-0 win against Antonio Conte’s men in the Champions League in September.
And it seems that the Italian has been impressed with what he has seen from Ugarte in Tottenham’s two games against Sporting this season.
What has O’Rourke said about Ugarte and Tottenham?
O’Rourke thinks Tottenham will be keeping a close eye on Ugarte at the World Cup.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the journalist said: “I think Tottenham scouts will be actively monitoring him at the World Cup, and although it might be hard to do a deal in January, it might be something that Spurs look at in the summer.”
Read more: January Transfer Window 2023: When Does It Begin, Rumours and Everything You Need To Know
What does Ugarte bring to Sporting and Uruguay?
Ugarte is a midfielder who is very good at winning the ball back.
As per FBref, he has ranked in the 99th percentile for tackles, the 98th for interceptions and the 99th for blocks among his positional peers over the last year.
Based on that, it is not hard to see why the Sporting man has gone to the World Cup. It obviously also shows why Tottenham want him, though you suspect any deal to become extremely complicated if he goes on to sign that contract with a £69m release clause.
Whatever the case, it looks like Antonio Conte wants a new midfielder after constantly snubbing Yves Bissouma before the World Cup.
Bissouma joined Spurs from Brighton during the summer in an initial £25m deal (via BBC Sport), but the Mali international has spent a lot of time on the bench since arriving at the north London club. In fact, in total, he has made just six starts in the Premier League.
Tottenham’s interest in Ugarte does not necessarily mean Conte is trying to replace Bissouma already. But if they sign the Uruguay star, he should probably start to worry.
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