As was the case last summer with Vitinha, Paris Saint-Germain’s first signing of the summer transfer window is set to be a midfielder from the Portuguese league, with the Ligue 1 champions set to confirm the arrival of Manuel Ugarte from Sporting CP.
PSG have notably beaten Chelsea to the Uruguayan international’s signing. According to L’Équipe on Sunday night, as part of their offensive for the midfielder, the Premier League side had also opened talks to buy a minority stake in the Portuguese side, via Clearlake Capital.
The Athletic indicate that these very reports raised concern on PSG’s part, and the French club drafted a legal letter intended to be sent to Sporting. The draft letter, The Athletic add, explains that the Parisians believed they had a deal in place with both club and player, as well as enquiring over whether a transfer had been agreed with Chelsea as well, and whether it was dependent on the prospective sale of a minority share.
It also points out the potential conflict that would arise should both clubs qualify for the same continental competition in the future given UEFA regulations on ownership, and indicates that the club would escalate the issue to European football’s governing body unless a satisfactory explanation was provided.
Chelsea then pulled out of the race to sign Ugarte – explaining, according to The Athletic, that their decision was over a refusal to overpay for the player rather than any ramifications from the L’Équipe report. As a result, PSG did not go through with sending the letter.
The Londonders’ owner Todd Boehly and his business partners have, though, been in long-running talks with Strasbourg president Marc Keller over a potential full takeover. The Alsatians have been presided over by Marc Keller since 2012 – back when they had been relegated to the fifth tier for administrative reasons – and secured Ligue 1 safety on the penultimate day of the campaign this year.