Aston Villa are interested in signing Chelsea target Manuel Ugarte from Sporting Lisbon, according to reports.

Manuel Ugarte, who’s just 22, is an exciting young midfielder impressing this season at Portuguese giants Sporting.

FootballTransfers claimed earlier this month that Chelsea’s recruitment team have set their sights on Ugarte and want to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

Now, fresh reports suggest there’s real competition for the defensive midfielder’s signature.

Sporting CP v CS Maritimo - Liga Portugal Bwin
Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

The Daily Mail claims that Aston Villa are among the clubs now showing an interest in Ugarte.

The report claims that Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle United have all monitored the 22-year-old this season. They’re all focusing their attention elsewhere right now, though.

It is understood that the Uruguay international has a release clause worth around £55million amid interest from several Premier League teams.

In addition, Ugarte is represented by super agent Jorge Mendes, who’s been in talks with various teams in England’s top division.

Sporting CP v Juventus: Quarterfinal Second Leg - UEFA Europa League
Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Ugarte may be unfamiliar to a lot of supporters in England, but he’s actually played and impressed this season during European ties against both Tottenham and Arsenal.

He’s an all-action defensive midfielder with super aggression and ability to break play up.

In our view, Chelsea really need to make sure they sign a No 6 in the summer transfer window.

We feel like a combative No 6 can help bring the kind of balance to the Blues line-up that is desperately lacking right now.

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