Tottenham to watch Uruguay star intently at World Cup as Rodrigo Bentancur midfield link up planned

Manuel Ugarte Credit: Alamy
Manuel Ugarte Credit: Alamy

Tottenham want to unite Rodrigo Bentancur with one of his Uruguay team-mates in midfield and will keep tabs on his performances during the World Cup, according to reports.

Bentancur joined Tottenham from Juventus in January. As per Sky Sports, the North London side paid Juve an initial £15.8million, while £5.7m was due in potential bonuses.

Bentancur was brought in to provide more quality and energy in Antonio Conte’s midfield, and he has done exactly that.

He soon formed a solid partnership with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the centre of the park. In recent weeks, though, Bentancur and Hojbjerg have been given more licence to go forward.

This is because Conte has brought Yves Bissouma into the fold. He tends to stay back and protect the defence, allowing Bentancur and Hojbjerg to get forward and help the strikers out in attack.

The new system seems to be working well. Bentancur has scored goals against Leicester City, Bournemouth and Sporting Lisbon so far this season.

This is a marked improvement on last term, when the 25-year-old failed to get on the scoresheet for Juve or Spurs.

Conte could still demand more midfield reinforcements in 2023. He wants to make the squad as strong as possible to help them challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title.

Tottenham want second Uruguay man 

And Spurs could end up bringing in one of Bentancur’s Uruguay pals. According to reports last month, Sporting midfield enforcer Manuel Ugarte is on Spurs’ radar.

And the Montevideo-born star has been called up to Uruguay’s 26-man squad for the World Cup in Qatar, which starts on November 20.

Ugarte will be looking to impress so he can achieve a transfer away from Sporting and to a bigger club, potentially in one of Europe’s top five leagues. And this is where Spurs come in.

According to Sport Witness, who cite Portuguese outlet A Bola, Spurs will be watching each of Ugarte’s performances during the international tournament.

They want to see if he has the mentality to make an impact on the biggest stage of all. And if the 21-year-old does well, then Spurs director of football Fabio Paratici will probably submit an offer for him.

It is unclear how much Ugarte could move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for. transfermarkt currently value him at €18m (£15.7m), but an impressive World Cup would see Sporting put this price up.

Manuel Ugarte could be a shrewd capture

Most signs suggest capturing Ugarte would be a great piece of transfer business for Spurs. He has been one of Sporting’s top performers this campaign.

And Portuguese clubs are known for their ability to develop top stars. Just look at the likes of Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Matheus Nunes and Rafael Leao.

Admittedly, Ugarte came through the CA Fenix academy in his native Uruguay before joining Sporting in August 2021.

But the Primeira Liga club have helped him reach the next level and he could soon be set for a big-money switch to the Prem.

Ugarte could form a brilliant midfield trio with Bentancur and Hojbjerg. This would be harsh on Bissouma, who has done well in recent weeks, but Ugarte really does have top-class potential.

Spurs supporters will definitely be keeping an eye on Uruguay matches during the upcoming World Cup. Not only to see Bentancur in action, but also to watch Ugarte as well.

Meanwhile, Conte has made a big hint about where his future lies amid pending contract talks with Spurs.

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