Sporting Lisbon threaten Liverpool with UEFA sanctions over proposed transfer of Manuel Ugarte: report
Liverpool could face UEFA sanctions if midfield target Manuel Ugarte forces through a move to Anfield, with Sporting Lisbon threatening the Reds with harassment of a player in the middle of a season.
Agents of Sporting midfielder Manuel Ugarte are set to speak to Liverpool over a move, according to Portuguese outlet, Record. The 22-year-old has impressed in Europe this season against the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham and reportedly has a release clause of £52m.
Record says that though Sporting boss Ruben Amorim wants to retain the Uruguayan for his midfield, the Lisbon giants are ready to negotiate with willing suitors for the player.
Jorge Chiljane, one of Ugarte's representatives, even admitted links to Liverpool were true when questioned about the future of Ugarte.
“Liverpool? There is a lot of talk, but it is not the only club, there are others. There is much talk, but I am still not sure about the club. There are many possibilities on the table.
”It’s almost certain that he won’t stay, it’s sure he’ll leave. I believe that in 15 days the situation will be resolved.
“Soon I’ll be in Lisbon. I trust Jorge Mendes, who is the best agent in the world. In fact, when I told him about Ugarte for the first time, he said to me: ‘Your eyes are my eyes’.”
While Liverpool are reportedly willing to match Ugarte's release clause, Sporting are still unhappy with the Reds and have threatened legal action should the Uruguayan depart.
According to Portuguese outlet Correio da Manhã via Sport Witness, Sporting haven't allowed Ugarte to speak to other clubs at the moment. Therefore, if Liverpool are found guilty to have spoken to the player or his representatives before the transfer window, they could face sanctions by football's governing bodies.
Clubs are forbidden from agreeing personal terms with a player who hasn't been given permission by his current side under UEFA and FIFA rules. Clubs found guilty can be fined or even have transfer bans imposed upon them.