Man Utd target Manuel Ugarte sends message to Sir Jim Ratcliffe as 'transfer green-lit'

Man Utd want to sign Manuel Ugarte. (Image: Getty)

Manuel Ugarte showcased exactly why Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS have reportedly pinpointed him as one of Manchester United’s priority summer signings with his latest Copa America performance. The Uruguay international helped his nation top Group C with a 1-0 victory against the United States last night.

Ugarte started a third consecutive match as Marcelo Bielsa’s side ran out narrow winners at the Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas.

Mathias Olivera’s second-half goal secured the triumph, but Ugarte left viewers blown away by his display alongside Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde in midfield.

According to Fabrizio Romano, United have received the green light for a summer transfer from the 23-year-old and Paris Saint-Germain.

He landed at the Parc des Princes from Sporting Lisbon in a £51million deal last year but couldn’t win Luis Enrique’s trust and now looks destined for a quick escape.

United have emerged as favourites for Ugarte’s signature, and he demonstrated what he could bring to Old Trafford during Uruguay’s latest win last night.

The PSG outcast took 51 touches, completed 27 of 35 attempted passes and won three of his four attempted tackles – no player won more – during his 89-minute outing.

Ugarte also made six ball recoveries and three clearances, one of which was a crucial headed goalline clearance to maintain his side’s lead.

Manuel Ugarte was sensational against the USMNT. (Image: Getty)

He put on a ball-winning clinic by winning all seven of his contested ground duels, came out on top in two aerial battles and drew two fouls from the USMNT.

Sebastian Caceres replaced Ugarte in the dying embers as Uruguay confirmed a perfect group stage, winning all three games, scoring nine goals and conceding just once.

Bielsa’s side beat Panama 3-1 in their curtain-raiser before mauling Bolivia 5-0 and dumping the USMNT out of the Copa America with last night’s narrow win.

Uruguay, as group winners, will face the runners-up in Group D in the quarter-finals at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

That slot is currently occupied by Brazil, who trail Colombia by two points before the two nations face off for top spot tonight.

Costa Rica and Paraguay make up the group, but only the former could leapfrog Brazil on the final matchday if they beat the latter and there is a significant – and very unlikely – goal difference swing.

On the other side of the draw, reigning champions Argentina face Ecuador and Venezuela meet Canada.

Argentina and Venezuela have been just as flawless as Uruguay, matching their 100 per cent record.