Just in!!! Aston Villa now desperate and ready to hijack Liverpool’s £53M top target

Aston Villa are now attempting to hijack Liverpool’s talks to bring Manuel Ugarte to the Premier League this summer.

The Sporting CP No.15 has become one of the most admired midfielders across Europe after delivering consistently impressive performances for the Portuguese giants, which have alerted Unai Emery and Jürgen Klopp.

Now, Aston Villa are stepping up their pursuit of Manuel Ugarte after Liverpool already made their first move.

What’s the story?

Well – according to Bruno Andrade – Liverpool recently opened talks to sign Ugarte.

Now – as detailed by Football Transfers – Aston Villa have started negotiations of their own as they attempt to hijack the deal, and have actually emerged as the frontrunner to sign the Uruguay international.

The imminent arrival of Mateu Alemany – who is set to become Director of Football at Villa Park – has handed the Villans a boost in the race to sign the South American.

O Jogo believe the 22-year-old has a €60m (£53m) price tag, a sum Aston Villa are happy to pay for the defensive midfielder.

So far this season, Ugarte has made 45 appearances in all competitions for Sporting CP, playing a crucial role at the base of their midfield.

Liverpool must assert themselves over Aston Villa

If Liverpool allow themselves to be outmuscled by Aston Villa in the battle to sign Ugarte, it wouldn’t bode well for the rest of the summer as Klopp aims to overhaul his midfield department.

The Villans already flirted with the prospect of leapfrogging Liverpool in the Premier League before a recent run of poor form saw them slip eight points behind the Reds.

However, if Emery beats Klopp to Ugarte, it would go some way to making up that ground next season – it certainly doesn’t feel unrealistic to say that Aston Villa could finish above Liverpool next season if they recruit better than those at Anfield this summer.

Be sure to keep an eye on the situation, as Ugarte looks set to leave Lisbon.