Chelsea are ready to step in to challenge Aston Villa and Liverpool for the signing of Sporting Club de Portugal midfielder Manuel Ugarte.

That’s according to Record, who say Chelsea are the ‘new option’ for the Uruguayan as he plans for a big move in the summer transfer window.

They explain that further meetings to discuss Ugarte’s future are planned for this week with a view to defining the 22-year-old’s future.

He is currently represented by Jorge Mendes and Jorge Chijane and they have ‘three clubs interested’ in their client: Liverpool, Aston Villa and Chelsea. The Blues are described as ‘a new option’ for the player.

The newspaper states that Todd Boehly is a ‘confessed admirer’ of Portuguese football and a close partner to Mendes, who is in charge of Ugarte’s future.

He has promised to bring Sporting ‘concrete proposals’ for the midfielder, who is seen as an asset whose sale could be profitable for the Portuguese side in the summer market.

The belief is that intentions should become deeds sooner rather than later and the plan is for Mendes and his team to meet with Sporting chief Frederico Varandas this week to discuss their options.

Liverpool have already told the player they will make an offer while Aston Villa have ‘taken notes’ on him to boot. The belief is that Chelsea will also be among the bidders.

Any side that do want him will need to match the player’s €60m release clause, a figure Sporting tired to increase during contract renewal talks but were unsuccessful with.