Manuel Ugarte PSG Chelsea GFXGetty/GOAL

Explained: Why Chelsea pulled out of deal for Manuel Ugarte as Sporting CP midfielder prepares to join PSG

  • PSG and Chelsea in counter-claims
  • Ugarte joining French club
  • Drafted letter was intended for Sporting

WHAT HAPPENED? Chelsea appeared favourites to sign the Sporting CP and Uruguay midfielder, 22, but he has subsequently agreed a deal with PSG. The French club have activated his £52 million release clause (€60m/$64m), with The Athletic reporting the Stamford Bridge club ruled themselves out of a deal when reports of their alleged plan to smoothen the deal by buying a minority stake in Sporting emerged, with PSG drafting a legal letter of complaint in response to the rumours.

WHAT PSG SAID: French newspaper L’Equipe first broached the issue that Chelsea's ownership had discussed the possibility of not only signing Ugarte but also taking a minority stake in Sporting. PSG were reportedly made aware and became concerned that Ugarte was being urged to join Chelsea by Sporting officials because of the financial agreement. PSG believed they were going to miss out on the player and drafted a letter questioning the “integrity” of the proposed transfer to Chelsea

WHAT CHELSEA SAID: Other media reports claim there is no truth in suggestions that Chelsea were going to buy a stake in Sporting as part of the deal. Chelsea simply say that PSG offered the better financial package to the player, especially when it came to wages.

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Manuel Ugarte 2022-23GettyTodd Boehly Chelsea Stamford BridgeGetty/GOAL

THE BIGGER PICTURE: There is likely to be no upshot for Chelsea, given the letter from PSG was never lodged as a formal complaint to either Sporting or UEFA, but it's more evidence of the potential pitfalls caused by owners having multiple clubs in the same European competition, which is banned by the federation.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR CHELSEA? It leaves Chelsea without their first would-be signing of the Mauricio Pochettino era, but owner Todd Boehly is likely to press ahead in efforts to rejuvenate his squad with both incomings and outgoings over the coming weeks.