Portuguese reports emerged this week saying Leeds had held talks with the representatives of Sporting Lisbon star Manuel Ugarte – and Phil Hay has told his Athletic podcast Ugarte is the kind of player that Victor Orta does go for.

Ugarte, 22, has rose to prominence under the highly-rated Ruben Amorim over the last couple of years. Joining his current side in the summer of 2021, he was crucial in Sporting winning the League title last term, a first since 01-02.

His form has seen him win eight Uruguay caps. A player that is solely in the team to break up attacking opposition play and keep it simple when in possession. His form has caught the eye of a number of Premier League teams.

A report from Portuguese site O Jogo said last month that Tottenham, Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Wolves are interested in Ugarte. Now, Record say Leeds have entered into talks with the player’s agents ahead of the summer.

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The report claims he has a release clause worth £53million. But, that Sporting want to hand him a new deal and increase that clause. Of course, survival in the Premier League is absolutely crucial come the end of the season.

Hay said: “Yeah, I saw him linked. The summer is difficult because of the takeover. If we stay up, if we go down and the changes that are going to come. If Orta is still in charge, then that is the sort of target he would normally go for.”

Phil Hay: Manuel Ugarte is the kind of player Victor Orta goes for at Leeds

What a signing Ugarte would be. Especially, if clubs do come in for Tyler Adams and the American needs replacing. But if Leeds survive and the club even manage to keep Adams – then Ugarte would be an excellent partner with him.

But, he would be expensive and the club will be outweighed by the likes of Spurs, Villa and Newcastle. All three have much more financial power over Leeds and the possibility of European football – even, potentially Villa could qualify.

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