Atletico Madrid and Manchester City are reportedly set to provide stiff competition to Chelsea in pursuit of Nicolas Tagliafico, who is valued around £24.5 million.
According to The Sun, Chelsea are among the clubs keeping tabs on Nicolas Tagliafico. The Ajax left-back has been identified as the ideal alternative to Frank Lampard’s preferred target, Ben Chilwell, as the club manager looks to bolster his defensive options this summer.
However, the Blues are set to face stiff competition from league rivals Manchester City, who are keen on further strengthening their left-back department despite having Benjamin Mendy and Oleksandr Zinchenko. In addition to Chelsea and City, Atletico Madrid are also interested, although they might find it difficult to fund a move for the left-back.
Tagliafico attracting a host of clubs across Europe comes as no surprise whatsoever, given the fact that he has a verbal agreement with Ajax that could see him leave the club for just £24.5 million. The defender was linked with a move to Premier League last year, but he chose to prolong his stay in Amsterdam instead.
It was a wise decision, it seems, as the Argentine has once again played a key role for Ajax this season. He was involved in seven goals in 24 appearances, helping his club fight tooth and nail with AZ Alkmaar for the Eredivisie title. Now, though, he could finally leave, amid interest from Chelsea, Manchester City and Atletico Madrid.
Tagliafico could be a good buy for Chelsea considering the problems they have faced in the left-back slot. Neither Emerson Palmieri nor Marcos Alonso has quite been able to impress Lampard, often lacking tactical and positional discipline.
As a result, the Chelsea manager has used Cesar Azpilicueta in the left-back role extensively. Meanwhile, the club is reportedly ready to get rid of fringe players like Victor Moses and Emerson to fund a move for a left-back.
The Blues have already shown a lot of ambition in the transfer market so far, notably signing Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner this summer. Both players are tipped to make a huge impact in Lampard’s setup and the same could be said for Tagliafico as well.
The Ajax left-back, unlike Emerson and Alonso, is a much more composed individual. Blessed with technical prowess, the Argentine has a good sense of positioning and relies on his understanding of the game to provide solidity on the left flank. That he would cost a mere £24.5 million potentially makes him an even more attractive prospect for Chelsea.
The 27-year-old also has a decent amount of experience at the highest level of football, notably winning 25 caps for the Argentine national team. However, it remains to be seen whether or not Chelsea manage to secure his services, especially with Manchester City and Atletico Madrid also showing a keen interest.