Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Newcastle could find their answer to Palhinha in Manuel Ugarte

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe may well be looking to strengthen his midfield ranks this summer, with recent reports having claimed that the Magpies are showing an interest in Sporting Lisbon starlet Manuel Ugarte.

According to Portuguese outlet Record (via Sport Witness), the Tynesiders are believed to have made contact regarding a possible move for the 21-year-old, with the Uruguayan said to be on the club’s ‘summer menu’.

The report added that, while the youngster would be open to signing a new contract with the Lisbon outfit – after arriving from Famalicao just 18 months ago – he is not said to be keen on an increase to his current €60m (£54m) release clause.

That could well allow the chance for the Tynesiders to pounce ahead of next season, with the “midfield machine” – as described by talent scout Jacek Kulig – having caught the eye as a result of his standout displays both in Europe and domestically of late.

The hope would be that the six-cap maestro could look to emulate the impact of his former Sporting team-mate and fellow defensive midfielder Joao Palhinha in the Premier League, with the latter currently thriving following his £17m move to Fulham last summer.

The towering 27-year-old leads the way in the English top flight for tackles made (98) so far this season, having been described as a “bargain” by NBC journalist Joe Prince-Wright and “one of the signings of the season” by Sky Sports reporter Jamie Weir.

Would you like to see Ugarte at Newcastle?





As Fulham manager Marco Silva put it, the 6 foot 3 ace has been a simply “gigantic” addition for the west London outfit so far, having been an integral part of a team which is firmly in the mix for European qualification.

That success seemingly bodes well as far as Newcastle’s pursuit of Ugarte is concerned, with the Uruguayan also something of a “warrior” in the middle of the park, according to Kulig.

Like his former Sporting colleague, the 21-year-old is a true master at winning back possession, averaging 3.5 tackles and 1.6 interceptions per game from his 18 league outings this season, while Palhinha has averaged 4.7 and 1.3 for those same two metrics respectively.

1 of 10

First up, who scored Newcastle's first goal of 2022?

The two players are also commanding and dominant figures in the air, as the Portuguese maestro has won 62% of his aerial duels in the current campaign, while Ugarte has won 63% of his for Ruben Amorim’s side.

The latter’s quality has also been evident in the Champions League this term as he has averaged 4.8 tackles per game from his six group stage appearances, the best record of any player in the competition so far.

With Newcastle seemingly crying out for a midfield destroyer alongside Bruno Guimaraes, turning to the Sporting ace could well be a transformational signing, much like Palhinha has been at Craven Cottage.