Aston Villa and Liverpool ‘target’ available at £52m as agent confirms he is ‘likely to leave’

Manuel Ugarte is reportedly being eyed by Aston Villa and Liverpool this summer and his agent has addressed his future

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Manuel Ugarte is ‘likely to leave’ Sporting Lisbon this summer according to his agent amid reported interest from Liverpool and Aston Villa.

The Uruguayan is also being monitored by Tottenham Hotspur per reports with Sporting willing to sell the player this summer. The tough-tackling midfielder is said to available for £52m due to a release clause in his contract.

The 22-year-old has made 45 appearances for Sporting this term after joining the club in 2021 for only £5m.

There are ‘several offers’ on the table for the midfielder, according to his agent Jorge Chijane. Speaking to media in Portugal, Ugarte’s representative confirmed Liverpool are not the only club interested in the player.

“Liverpool? There is a lot of talk, but it is not the only club, there are others,” said Chijane to O Jogo.

“There’s a lot of talk, but I’m still not sure about the club. There are many offers on the table.”

He 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.”

Emery is keen to improve his squad this summer as Villa remain in contention for European football. The former Arsenal and Sevilla boss was appointed at Villa Park at the end of October after Steven Gerrard’s dismissal.

Since then, Villa have been one of the form sides in the division but back-to-back defeats in their last two outings has saw them drop to eighth.

This weekend, Villa take on European rivals Tottenham Hotspur in Birmingham.

Emery said: “We are very excited and are looking forward to playing the match. We are savouring this opportunity because the last five matches at home we won and those 15 points helped us to be here.

“With the possibility to play with our supporters at home, playing against a really good team, I think everybody wants to enjoy this moment. Everybody wants to be together for 90 minutes in Villa Park and try to have a very good way.

“We have to be positive, we have to be happy and we have to be very focused. It could be the last opportunity to continue enjoying and playing key matches where we can improve, build, and take challenges to play for a place in Europe.

“At home, we are feeling very strong, very competitive and we are winning difficult matches.”