Ernesto Valverde

Barcelona keeping tabs on Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico

Spanish giants Barcelona are are expressing an interest in the signature of Ajax star Nicolas Tagliafico, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Ajax standout

Tagliafico, a 26-year-old left-back, made the move to the Johan Cruijff Arena in January of last year, when Ajax forked out around £4 million to secure the stopper’s signing from Independiente.

He immediately went on to establish himself as a key contributor for the Dutch giants over the second-half of last season, impressing on his way to 15 Eredivisie appearances, racking up a goal and 2 assists in the process.

The Banfield youth product’s showings with Ajax also saw him earn a call-up to Argentina’s World Cup squad in the summer, where he appeared as an ever-present in all 4 of the Albiceleste’s fixtures in Russia.

Arsenal links

And Tagliafico has since carried his impressive form into the current campaign.

Across all competitions, the South American has racked up 5 goals and 3 assists, including a trio of strikes in the Champions League.

As such, Tagliafico’s stellar showings in Amsterdam have since seen him inevitably linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Premier League giants Arsenal were named as keen admirers of the stopper by Calciomercato late last year.

The Gunners were even rumoured to have tabled an opening offer for Tagliafico.

Barcelona join the hunt

But, as per the aforementioned update from Mundo Deportivo this afternoon, Arsenal have been joined in the hunt for the Ajax star’s signature by La Liga champions Barcelona.

Having scouted Frenkie De Jong and Matthijs de Ligt throughout the campaign, representatives from the Blaugrana are also said to have kept a close eye on Tagliafico’s progress.

And, having been impressed by what they’ve seen from the Argentine, a bid on the part of the Catalans could be forthcoming in the summer.

However, Tagliafico, for his part, would reportedly be wary of a Camp Nou switch.

With Jordi Alba having the first-choice left-back slot at Barcelona firmly locked down, the former Murcia loanee would arrive in Catalunya as a backup, a situation that Tagliafico is not keen on.

As such, as things stand, the likes of Arsenal and Atletico Madrid appear more likely destinations for the 26-year-old.

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