United ‘optimistic’ they’ll sign Copa America star but face roadblock as his club want exactly what they paid for him

Since Dan Ashworth’s arrival as sporting director was finally completed last week, Manchester United have been getting straight down to business on the transfer market.

Fans are eagerly anticipating updates on what looks almost certain to be the club’s first two signings of the summer: Joshua Zirkzee and Matthijs de Ligt.

Their pursuit of Zirkzee is set to be more straightforward given that he has a £34 million release clause embedded into his contract, while a deal for De Ligt will take some negotiating with Bayern Munich regarding a fee, although both players have given their respective green light to joining United.

Aside from the Dutch duo, the Reds have been heavily linked with what could well be a long-term replacement for Casemiro in the form of Manuel Ugarte, who is currently on international duty with Uruguay at Copa America.

He was signed by Paris Saint-Germain just one year ago on a €60 million (£51.1m) deal from Sporting Lisbon, penning a five-year contract upon his arrival at the Parc des Princes.

Read more: After Zirkzee & De Ligt – Romano says there’s a ‘big possibility’ United could pursue Euros semi-finalist

Ugarte deemed surplus to requirements in Paris

Now, the Ligue 1 giants are willing to sanction Ugarte’s exit after just one season – a term which saw him feature sporadically under Luis Enrique.

He is said to be open to a move to United, but the two clubs have some work to do if they want to see the transfer get over the line; PSG have set his price tag at the £51.1m they paid for him last July, while the Reds believe a fee of £35.4m should be enough to reach an agreement, as per Christopher Michel.

The sides will presumably have to ‘meet in the middle’, but United are ‘optimistic’ in their chances.

More Stories Manuel Ugarte