Tottenham Hotspur’s relationship with Sporting CP has been long withstanding.
After all, one of their defensive stalwarts Eric Dier was poached from the Portuguese outfit back in 2014, whilst more recently Pedro Porro has been another top import from the Lions.
However, what chairman Daniel Levy could seek to pull this summer would be unprecedented, flexing their financial muscles to devastate one of the Liga Primeira powerhouses with a remarkable double swoop.
An outlet from within the country, Record (as per Sport Witness), is now suggesting that there are fears within the club that Ruben Amorim is preparing for a north London switch at the conclusion of this season, worrying the club’s hierarchy.
Whilst this alone would be a hammer blow, other rumours persist that suggest Spurs are also keen on signing their top midfielder Manuel Ugarte, further compounding their misery.
Should they first tempt the 38-year-old, surely his love of the Uruguayan destroyer would marry perfectly with Spurs’ long-held interest in the 22-year-old, tempting both to make a surprise move together.
In one fell swoop, Levy could be set to finally get his sinking ship back on track.
Having been in need of a new manager since late March, and also in need of powerhouse alternatives since Rodrigo Bentancur’s injury in February, at last, there seems a solution to these woes.
Would Manuel Ugarte be a success at Spurs?
Given the success earned by their current Uruguay midfield general, outlined in the 7.21 average rating earned before undergoing surgery, there is no reason to believe that the man with a €60m (£52m) price tag could not achieve similar success.
After all, his presence at the base of the engine room has proved profitable for Amorim since his emergence.
The Portuguese boss has often preferred a three-at-the-back system whilst with Sporting but relies heavily on these centre-backs to stride forward and break the lines. This is where Ugarte shines, as his ability to accept the ball under pressure and keep a move flowing is imperative in their successful progression up the field.
As such, he boasts a 7.04 average rating for this season, underpinned by a phenomenal 91% pass accuracy and 3.9 tackles per game, via Sofascore.
Such defensive proficiency has led writer Dave Hendrick to hail him as a “ball-winning machine” and an “absolute monster” for his age, with all of his progression overseen under Amorim’s leadership.
Should the two move together, the hope would be that this coach – once branded “the most exciting young manager in European football” by The Athletic’s Jack Pitt-Brooke – could quickly instil his ideas onto the Lilywhites’ current squad to get them firing with immediacy.
Having someone like Ugarte join alongside him, who is already well-versed in his methods, could help ease that transition, whilst the young boss can continue aiding his rapid rise to the top with further evolution.
It could be the perfect marriage to move both of these to north London at the same time, so Levy must look to form this monstrous partnership heading into pre-season.