Chelsea have “pulled out” of a deal to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Manuel Ugarte after Paris Saint-Germain met his release clause, according to CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs.
The Blues were expected to make Ugarte their first summer signing with reports in Portugal yesterday claiming that he was due to arrive in London over the coming days to complete a medical and sign his contract.
Portuguese publication O Jogo said that new Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino had ‘put pressure’ on the board to complete the signing of the Uruguay international.
But now Jacobs has revealed that Ugarte won’t sign for Chelsea after PSG topped their offer, with the Blues deciding not to increase their bid.
Jacobs wrote on Twitter: “Chelsea have pulled out of the race for Manuel Ugarte.
“Incredible drama. #CFC position is they made Manuel Ugarte a competitive offer (and higher than some of the numbers reported), but PSG topped it. Chelsea not prepared to go above market value.
“PSG offer remains on the table. They have triggered the €60m release clause and with Chelsea out suddenly are thus confident, with lucrative terms offered to Ugarte, of now completing the transfer.”
And transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Chelsea have “left the race” for the Uruguay midfielder with the Italian journalist providing the latest updates on transfer activity at Stamford Bridge.
Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column: “Chelsea fans may be dreaming of Eden Hazard returning to Chelsea but the club has different ideas for the transfer market.
“One idea was Manuel Ugarte. Chelsea were negotiating in Portugal and believed they were very close to a deal. HOWEVER – the Blues have now left the race for the Sporting star’s signature with PSG offering better terms to the player. They still have to finalise a €60m deal. Chelsea were unwilling to pay more than what they judge to be the player’s market rate.
“It’s not just bad news for Chelsea supporters, however, with the club sure to move down their wishlist. Arsenal target Moises Caicedo will be one to keep an eye on, with Chelsea having the Ecuadorian on their list alongside Ugarte.”
Caicedo – who is expected to leave the Seagulls this summer – was linked with Arsenal and Chelsea over the winter transfer market but, after no bids reached Brighton’s asking price, he signed a new deal at the Amex Stadium.
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