Man Utd told Ratcliffe’s first summer signing could be secured for ‘half’ the price after ‘green light’

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd transfer target Manuel Ugarte
Manuel Ugarte has been linked with a move to Man Utd.

Manchester United have been advised to wait a little while before signing Uruguay international Manuel Ugarte from Ligue Un giants Paris Saint-Germain.

Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has finally completed his new-look recruitment team with the appointment of sporting director Dan Ashworth. He joins chief executive Omar Berrada and technical director Jason Wilcox.

They will be busy this summer as Man Utd need upgrades in various positions if they are to mount a more sustained challenge for the Champions League places next season.

The addition of a new striker, centre-back and centre-midfielder are among their priorities and they are understood to be targeting PSG star Ugarte.

The 23-year-old joined PSG from Sporting Lisbon for around €60m (£51m)last summer but the Ligue Un giants are already looking to offload him.

A report from 90min claims PSG are ‘open to parting ways with Ugarte, who is attracting interest from Manchester United and Bayern Munich, but want to recover the €60m fee they splashed out 12 months ago’.

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The report claims Man Utd have already had an offer ‘rejected’ by PSG, while there is interest from another Premier League team.

‘Sources have confirmed to 90min that PSG are actively talking to suitors for Ugarte, in the hope that a sale can fund a move for another midfielder.

‘PSG are, however, in no rush to sell and are not prepared to compromise their valuation of Ugarte. Club sources have told 90min that a verbal offer from Manchester United worth around €35m was received and immediately rejected, though United sources deny they have made any formal proposal.

‘Bayern Munich are another suitor for Ugarte, who spent two years with Sporting after joining from Famalicao, and the defensive midfielder also has interest from clubs in Italy and one unnamed Premier League team.’

Man Utd are already said to have been given the ‘green light’ to sign Ugarte. However, French football expert Jonathan Johnson claims Man Utd could eventually get him for “half what PSG paid” if they are ‘smart and wait to secure him on the cheap’.

“Ugarte to United seems to have gathered pace quite significantly and it’s not too surprising. I think Ugarte is tailor-made for the Premier League and I think the drop-off from Casemiro in the season just gone means it’s normal United would be looking for a profile like that to replace him,” Johnson said.

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“It’s also a good time for PSG to sell Ugarte because he’s in good form for the Uruguay national team at Copa America, so the fact that he’s performing well at an international tournament means his value won’t drop as drastically as it may have done as he’s not been that important at club level in the second half of last season. So it makes sense for PSG, United, and for the player.”

He added: “It’s a critical moment as well because if this drags on and Ugarte finds himself out of favour with Enrique at the start of the new season with PSG, it will become that much harder for them to command the kind of fee they’ll want, and perhaps even half what they paid for him 12 months ago. If he goes now, PSG won’t make as much of a loss.”