CHELSEA have pulled out of the race to sign Sporting Lisbon star Manuel Ugarte, according to reports.
The Blues had been jostling with Paris Saint-Germain for the midfield ace.
Mauricio Pochettino's side had reportedly made the Uruguayan a priority signing this summer.
But they appear to have been beaten to the punch by Pochettino's former team.
According to CBS Sports reporter Ben Jacobs, Chelsea felt they had made a "competitive" bid for Ugarte.
But PSG have offered his full £52million release clause – something the West Londoners were unwilling to do.
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Despite previous transfer splurges since their takeover last year, the Blues didn't want to go above what they felt was "market value" on this occasion.
With PSG having offered a lucrative salary package, the 22-year-old appears destined for Parc des Princes.
According to talkSPORT, Chelsea will now turn to Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia instead.
Brighton star Caicedo was a big target of Arsenal's in the January window, although the Seagulls refused to budge.
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The 21-year-old is expected to depart this summer, however, and the Blues could rival the Gunners for his signature.
Lavia, meanwhile, was subject to interest from Chelsea last summer – just a few months after joining Southampton.
Following the Saints' Prem relegation his signature could be more easily attainable on this occasion.
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