Sporting president says Ugarte sale not yet complete

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Sporting’s president said today that the sale of Manuel Ugarte to Paris Saint-Germain had not been concluded, but speculated that the footballer’s transfer would prevent the sale of other “nuclear” players in this transfer market.

“Manuel Ugarte is a Sporting player. He has a 95% chance of leaving for one of the two big European clubs. It’s not yet ‘black and white’ with Paris Saint-Germain, and there’s another club ready to pay those values, so he has a high probability of leaving,” Frederico Varandas stressed, in an interview with TV channel ‘lions’.

With this in mind, the Alvalade club’s manager admitted that Sporting still have to sell players every season to keep the books balanced, but he stressed the club’s “sustained growth”, which means they don’t have to “destroy the whole team” to fail to qualify for the Champions League.

“If we have to sell Ugarte, which is 95% closed, we won’t sell anyone else. We won’t sell any more nuclear players until August 31. From now on, Sporting will not negotiate. It’s about beating the termination clause and, if that happens, we’ll have to go to the market,” Varandas told Sporting TV.

However, the “verde e brancos” manager acknowledged that the deal will only be concluded “after July 1”, as it is in the club’s “interest” “for a question of [financial] results for 2023/24”.

Still on the Uruguayan’s situation, he confirmed that Sporting had bought “another 10%” of the player from Famalicão “before selling him”, only to, later in the interview, confirm that the “lions” will “succeed in recovering around 40% of the pass” from Pedro Gonçalves that are still in the minhotos’ possession.

On the make-up of the squad for next season, Varandas confirmed that Spaniard Hector Bellerín will not be staying because of “the decision of the technical team and the management”, that “Trincão is a Sporting player”, who paid “an additional seven million euros” to FC Barcelona and obtained “50% of the pass” from the striker.

Asked about the main areas of the team to be strengthened, the president assured that striker Viktor Gyökeres “is one of the players referenced” and that “a striker, for sure” will be hired, in addition to “some additional surgical entries”.

He also speculated that Sporting had the capacity to spend the €20 million reportedly demanded by Coventry to “free” the Swede.

“I’m not saying we’ll do it, I’m saying we have the capacity,” said Frederico Varandas, who also confirmed the renewal of central midfielder Neto for another season.

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