With Sergio Busquets’ contract with Barcelona expiring at the end of the season, the club are hoping to learn the midfielder’s decision about his future this month.

The 34-year-old has been linked with a move to the MLS, although Xavi Hernandez wants to keep hold of him for another season. While Busquets would be open to such a possibility, the Catalans are yet to table a formal offer for an extension.

But with a decision likely to be made this month, Barcelona are preparing for the possibility that the former Spanish international could depart as a free agent and are looking for replacements in the market.

Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad remains the primary target for the Blaugrana in case their captain leaves.

But, according to SPORT, Barcelona are also following Sporting CP and Uruguay midfielder Manuel Ugarte as a possible candidate to replace Busquets next season.

The 21-year-old signed for Sporting in 2021 from Famalicao and has since racked up over 70 appearances for Ruben Amorim’s side, with his performances in the ongoing campaign particularly standing out.

It has led to interest in his services from clubs in the Premier League, with Tottenham Hotspur and Wolves among the teams laying eyes on the Uruguayan international.

Barcelona, too, are now understood to be following him, with his name being put on the table by super-agent Jorge Mendes, who has close ties with the Blaugrana president Joan Laporta.

A defensive midfielder who possesses good work rate and is solid on the ball, the 21-year-old has a contract with Sporting until the summer of 2026.

Nothing is concrete at this stage though and Barcelona will look to make firm moves to acquire a new defensive midfielder only after they learn Busquets’ decision on his future.

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