Newcastle could look to land Manuel Ugarte

Newcastle United’s main target for the summer transfer window and qualifying for the Champions League will allow them to consider a move for the likes of Manuel Ugarte.

What’s the latest?

Eddie Howe’s options in midfield took a blow over the January transfer window after the club failed to deliver on their ambition to bring in a new central midfielder.

And adding to this, veteran midfielder Jonjo Shelvey walked away from the club for a move to Nottingham Forest after Steve Cooper’s side offered him a two-year deal.

As a result, it is believed Dan Ashworth will be entering the summer transfer window with the priority of addressing their depth in the middle of the park.

Speaking to Football FanCast, journalist Pete O’Rourke has suggested the Toon could open up a lot more options in the summer if they can land a spot in the top four:

“We know Newcastle, one of their main priorities for the summer transfer window is going to be central midfielder and that’s what they tried to do in January, but were unable to bring in anybody.

“So I’m sure if they’ve got Champions League football on offer they will be in the market for the likes of Ugarte and other players of that ilk.”

Addressing their January’s shortcomings

Perhaps the recent suspension of Bruno Guimaraes has emphasised January’s shortcomings in the market with Howe now without the Brazilian and Shelvey who’s moved on.

A player of Guimaraes’ ability would be a massive miss to any side in Europe but his absence certainly does show just how short of options Howe is when his side picks up an injury or suspension.

So it seems as if Ashworth will be looking to pick up some new midfielders in the summer and the months coming will allow him some time to assess the potential options on Newcastle’s radar.

Do NUFC need Champions League to sign Ugarte?





And as O’Rourke has suggested, if they are able to land a spot in the top four, it could possibly open the door to singing a player like Ugarte.

Reports (via The Sun) have suggested the Toon have already made an approach to Sporting CP over the possibility of signing the Uruguayan in the summer.

It has been suggested by other reports from Portugal that a move for the midfielder could cost the Magpies in the region of £53m.

This is a midfielder – hailed a “machine” – who is right up there – statistically – with the best around given he ranks inside the top three percentile for tackles, clearances and blocks (via Fbref).

However, bringing in a player like this could require landing a spot in next season’s Champions League and there is still a long way to go in the season for the Magpies to seal a spot in the top four.