Man Utd’s pursuit of PSG man could falter if they fail to sell unwanted star

Harry De Cosemo
Ugarte Ratcliffe Khelaifi PSG Man Utd
Manuel Ugarte is one of a number of PSG players 'discussed' by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

Manchester United’s transfer plans have hit a bump in the road that could scupper any deal to sign Uruguayan Manuel Ugarte from Paris Saint-Germain.

United are expecting a busy summer, as it is the first since minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe arrived. The British billionaire owns a 25% stake in the club and is in charge of football operations.

His first big call was to keep Erik ten Hag as manager, despite holding talks with a number of possible replacements, including former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel.

Ugarte deal stalling?

Ten Hag has since commented on his future, saying he is the right man to take the club forward.

He said on Dutch TV: “Manchester United and I still have to find an agreement for the new contract.

“This isn’t easily done, we are still going to have to talk about this.

“United have told me that they spoke with [Thomas] Tuchel, but they eventually came to the conclusion that they already have the best manager.”

Ten Hag said they told him of their decision while he was on holiday in Spain.

“Manchester United disturbed my holiday, they suddenly stood at my doorstep. They flew to me in Ibiza.

“INOES took their time. They are new in football, it’s normal to reflect the season. It’s no secret that they talked with multiple candidates.

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“Here in Holland this is ‘not done,’ in fact, it’s not even allowed here. But in England they have different rules and laws.

“As in any organisation, and that seems very sensible to me, there is an evaluation. Conclusions were drawn from there. The new leadership is playing football for the first time.”

Attention will soon turn to the playing squad, with reinvigorating the midfield said to be high on the agenda. PSG’s Ugarte is a reported target, but a deal that could prove difficult to secure.

The reason is the future of Casemiro. The Brazilian, 32, signed a five-year contract when he moved from Real Madrid in 2022, and although he had a bright start to his career at Old Trafford, helping them lift the Carabao Cup in his first season, his form has suffered.

Now they are said to be looking for £30m to sell him on this summer, with clubs in Saudi Arabia linked with a move. But finding a buyer on their terms is proving difficult.

Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has stated a £50m deal for Ugarte is possible, but other clubs are also keen.

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