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Liverpool set to rival Arsenal for £53m midfielder who has 'impressed' Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool set to rival Arsenal for £53m midfielder who has 'impressed' Jurgen Klopp

The race is on.

Liverpool have reportedly opened talks with Sporting Lisbon midfielder Manuel Ugarte, amid interest from Arsenal.

The Reds have endured a torrid campaign in Merseyside and look set to miss out on a Champions League spot for the first time since the 2015/16 season.

The majority of Jurgen Klopp's problems this term have been attributed to his midfield, which has looked fragile at the best of times.

In turn, the German is plotting a major overhaul this summer, and 22-year-old defensive midfielder Ugarte is the latest name to be linked with a move to Anfield.

Ugarte to Liverpool?

Journalist Bruno Andrade has told CNN Portugal that Liverpool have initiated contact with Sporting over a potential deal for Ugarte.

Talks have reportedly taken place with the Uruguayan, who has made 43 appearances for his club this season.

Portuguese news outlet O Jogo echoes Andrade’s words, adding that Newcastle, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Leeds are also keeping tabs on Ugarte, meaning Liverpool must act quickly.

Klopp is said to have been 'impressed' with Ugarte’s performances this term, who could act as a long-term replacement for Fabinho.

Sporting are reportedly only willing to part ways with their prized asset if his full release clause of €60 million (£53m) is met.

However, the same publication stated that Ugarte's departure was 'practically inevitable', with the player showing no desire to renew his current deal.

Meanwhile, Sporting may look to cash in on him as they seek to raise funds for new players this summer.

Liverpool could also face competition from Premier League leaders Arsenal, who were left impressed by Ugarte during their Europa League tie against Sporting in March.

The club sent scouts to watch him play in Sporting's next round against Juventus, with the Gunners' recruitment team allegedly 'captivated' by his performance.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Liverpool, Arsenal, Football, Sporting Lisbon, Transfers, Jurgen Klopp