Obviously, Manuel Ugarte to Paris Saint-Germain is already a done deal. As the West London club missed out on getting the 22-year-old Uruguayan’s signature.

It’s confirmed that Chelsea are open to signing two defensive midfielders this summer. Because they would want to give Enzo Fernández freedom on the pitch.

However, their first attempt to sign a brilliant and talented sitting No.6 fell apart. Manuel Ugarte has now completed his move to PSG in Ligue 1.

The 22-year-old Uruguayan is one of the most reliable defensive midfielders in Europe’s top-5 leagues. Nevertheless, there are many alternatives to him.

N’Golo Kante hasn’t been able to extend his contract with the West London club. And now, it’s confirmed that he’s most likely to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer.

As a result, two Saudi Arabian clubs are hell-bent on getting his signature. Which means the Blues may lose one of their best and most dependable midfielders next season.

At the same time, Mateo Kovacic has already agreed to join Manchester City. As Pep Guardiola wants his experience and ability in his midfield.

Chelsea are open to letting him join the Citizens, despite the fact that they are rivals. Therefore, there’s definitely going to be a massive rebuild in the Blues midfield.

Moisés Caicedo of Brighton Albion remains on the Blues radar, as they search for a new midfielder. However, the Ecuadorian isn’t really a defensive midfielder.

Of course, it’s believed that he has many things in common with N’Golo Kante. Regardless, he’s not a sitting No.6, always loves to move forward.

Also, it doesn’t look like Chelsea could sign Declan Rice of West Ham United. Arsenal are leading the race to get his signature, even though the Red Devils are also interested.

Mauricio Pochettino, the Blues new head coach, personally told Chelsea to sign Manuel Ugarte. However, they failed to bring the Uruguayan youngster to Stamford Bridge.

Nevertheless, there are many young defensive midfielders. Who are literally better than or have many things in common with the new Paris Saint-Germain signing.

The real story of why Manuel Ugarte joined Paris Saint-Germain instead of Chelsea

Of course, the Blues and the Parisians aren’t really on good terms since Hakim Ziyech’s deal fell apart in January. PSG aren’t happy with Chelsea.

It’s confirmed that Paris Saint-Germain won’t do any business with the West London club again. However, they were both interested in the 22-year-old Uruguayan.

Ugarte reportedly loves the Chelsea project, and he desires to continue his football career in the Premier League. So, as last week, he chose Chelsea over Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite the fact that the Blues won’t be playing in the UEFA Champions League or Europa League next season. He chose to join the Premier League side.

Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain offered him a €5 million salary per year, while the Blues offered €2 million. Along the way, Chelsea reportedly increased it to €3.5 million.

So many sources have reported that Manuel Ugarte’s move to Chelsea is already a done deal. And the club have already scheduled his medical ahead of his move to Stamford Bridge.

Unbelievably, Paris Saint-Germain came into the picture again, offering €10 million per year. That was when the West London club backed off the deal.

Aside from that, it’s rumored that Chelsea are planning to procure some shares in Sporting CP. As a result, PSG took it personal, having had a bad relationship with the Blues.

As a result, they threatened to inform UEFA, which may lead to Chelsea transfer ban. Therefore, the Premier League side decided to leave the Uruguayan youngster alone.

Considering the Parisians salary of €10 million in a year. Manuel doesn’t have a choice but to join Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1.

Who are the defensive midfielders Chelsea could sign instead of Manuel Ugarte? 

Samuele Ricci – Torino (21-year-old) 

Manuel Ugarte alternative

It’s been reported that the West London club are now interested in the 21-year-old Italian defensive midfielder. However, they haven’t opened talks with Torino.

Samuele Ricci is very appreciated by the Chelsea board. Of course, he usually dazzles impressively under the 4-2-3-1 formation, which fits Mauricio Pochettino.

Despite the fact that he’s just 21-year-old. He has the ability to handle the Blues midfield. Even though the club have the likes of Andrey Santos and Cesare Casadei.

Samuele Ricci strengths 

  • Passing
  • Vision
  • Tackling
  • Intelligence
  • Athleticism

Mauricio Pochettino loves working with young players. As a result, the West London club may open talks with Torino for Samuele Ricci very soon.

It’s confirmed that the 21-year-old Italian would love to join Chelsea in the Premier League. Even though he may not be a regular starter.

Roméo Lavia – Southampton (19-year-old)


Joe Shields is pushing Chelsea to sign the 19-year-old Belgian midfielder from Southampton. Of course, the Saints are now relegated from the Premier League.

Roméo Lavia has been on the club’s radar since January. The recruitment team appreciates his ability. And he’s indeed brilliant and talented No.6.

Mauricio Pochettino reportedly told Chelsea to sign players with Premier League experience. So they will be able to adjust to the league’s style of play as soon as possible.

It’s been reported that Eden Hazard urged Roméo Lavia to join Chelsea. As the 19-year-old Belgian asked for his opinion on joining the West London club.

Roméo Lavia strengths 

  • Dribbling
  • Ball interception
  • Passing
  • Tackling
  • Ground duels

Frankly, Southampton are expected to demand £40 million or £50 million for the 19-year-old Belgian. Nevertheless, the club appreciates him.

Roméo Lavia is a different type No.6, dictating the team’s tempo between the centre-back and the midfield. He’s actually ideal for Mauricio Pochettino.  

Martín Zubimendi – Real Sociedad (24-year-old)


Chelsea aren’t really linked to the Spaniard. However, they are expected it to show their interest in him in the next days. He ideally fits the type of sitting No.6 they want.

However, Barcelona are reportedly wanting to sign the player. Because he has many things in common with Sergio Busquets and Rodri of Manchester City.

He’s a kind of defensive midfielder, who sits and balances the team’s defensive performance. As a result, the Blues are most likely to approach him.

Manuel Ugarte is indeed brilliant and talented. Nevertheless, Martín Zubimendi is way better than him, having watched him at Real Sociedad in La Liga.

Martín Zubimendi strengths 

  • Ball interception
  • Passing
  • Blocking the ball
  • Aerial duels
  • Concentration

In all fairness, signing the 24-year-old Spanish midfielder would be a long shot. Because he’s considered an untouchable player for the La Liga side.

Regardless, Real Sociedad wouldn’t want to turn down the Blues massive offer. If they decide to sign him. He fits into Mauricio Pochettino’s style.

Khéphren Thuram – OGC Nice (22-year-old) 

Thuram; Manuel Ugarte alternative

The 22-year-old Frenchman is another defensive midfielder, who is similar to Ugarte. However, Liverpool are reportedly leading the race to sign him.

OGC Nice values Khéphren Thuram at £40 million. As a result, it looks like a great deal for the West London club, if Mauricio Pochettino gives the green light.

The Frenchman isn’t really a sitting No.6, he’s more like a ball-playing defensive midfielder. Therefore, he cannot play as a lone DM.

Regardless, he has the defensive ability to partner with Enzo Fernández. Even though the Argentine gaffer likes to play a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Khéphren Thuram strengths 

  • Dribbling
  • Ball interception
  • Key passes
  • Vision
  • Blocking the ball

Since the 22-year-old Frenchman could shine in the French League. He has everything it takes to succeed in the Premier League, regardless of the toxicity.

However, Chelsea would have to battle Liverpool, before they could sign him. Jurgen Klopp highly appreciates Khéphren Thuram’s abilities.  

João Palhinha – Fulham (27-year-old)


Having lost the 22-year-old Uruguayan to Paris Saint-Germain. Chelsea are expected to approach the 27-year-old Portuguese DM in the next few days.

João Palhinha is Premier League proven. He single-handedly outplayed many defensive midfielders last season. Of course, he has the ability to balance the Blues midfield.

The 27-year-old Portuguese was Sporting CP’s starting DM, before the arrival of Ugarte. Therefore, the Portuguese player has many things in common with the Uruguayan.

João Palhinha is everything Chelsea wants in the midfield. He’s both a ball-playing and sitting defensive midfielder, winning tackles and interceptions for fun.

João Palhinha strengths

  • Blocking the ball
  • Passing
  • Tackling
  • Ball interception
  • Aerial duels

It’s confirmed that Fulham will most likely ask for £40 million for the Portuguese midfielder. That’s way cheaper than Ugarte’s €60 million to Stamford Bridge.

It’s hard to choose between Palhinha and Manuel. Because their styles of play are very similar, always impressive in the 4-2-3-1 formation.

Florentino Luis – Benfica (23-year-old)

Luis; Manuel Ugarte alternative

Frankly, this is another flawless sitting defensive midfielder. Who could attract interest from the West London club in the summer transfer window.

Florentino Luis and Enzo Fernández were starters for Benfica last season. Their combination has won many games for the Portuguese side.

As a result, Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali are expected to approach the 23-year-old Portuguese midfielder. Because he’s always at his best beside Enzo.

Florentino Luis is somehow better than Ugarte, as regards their defensive displays. However, bringing him to Chelsea would be a long shot for the Blues.

Florentino Luis strengths 

  • Tackling
  • Ball interception
  • Passing
  • Dribbling
  • Aerial duels

Meanwhile, the Portuguese youngster has a release clause of €150 million at Benfica. However, he’s yet to sign a new contract with the club, and his deal expires next summer.

Paying his release clause may drive the West London club away. Nevertheless, he’s most likely to be valued at €55 million or €65 million, regardless of his age. 

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