Sporting Lisbon are not as convinced as Manuel Ugarte’s agent that the Liverpool target will leave Portugal this summer, according to reports.
The Reds have had a poor season by their standards with Jurgen Klopp’s side spending most of the campaign marooned below the European places.
However, six consecutive victories in the Premier League has seen them move up to fifth in the table and puts them in with a shout of Champions League football next term.
Liverpool are one point behind fourth-placed Manchester United, who have one game in hand on them, and they know a top-four finish could help their chances of recruiting the best players.
One player they are reportedly interested in is Ugarte from Sporting as Klopp looks to bring in a couple of midfielders in the summer transfer window.
The midfield area of Klopp’s team has been blamed for many of their issues this term and Liverpool have already moved on from their dream of landing Jude Bellingham this summer.
Ugarte’s agent revealed earlier this week that Liverpool are interested in his client and that a move away from Sporting Lisbon was now “almost certain”.
When asked about the possibility Ugarte could move to Liverpool, his representative Jorge Chijane said: “Liverpool? There is a lot of talk, but it is not the only club, there are others. There is much talk, but I am still not sure about the club. There are many possibilities on the table.”
On possibly remaining in Lisbon, Chijane added:”It’s almost certain that he won’t stay, it’s sure he’ll leave. I believe that in 15 days the situation will be resolved.
“Soon I’ll be in Lisbon. I trust Jorge Mendes, who is the best agent in the world. In fact, when I told him about Ugarte for the first time, he said to me: ‘Your eyes are my eyes’.”
But that has not gone down well in Lisbon with Correio da Manhã (via Sport Witness) claiming that a furious Sporting have ‘forbidden’ Ugarte from holding any talks elsewhere.
Sport Witness add that the Portuguese giants ‘even told the Reds there could be sanctions from UEFA regarding the harassment of a player in the middle of the season’.
It is understood that Ugarte will now only leave for his €60m (£52m) release clause with Sporting Lisbon president Frederico Varandas so frustrated by Ugarte’s agent’s comments.