Chelsea and Aston Villa are reportedly embroiled in a transfer battle to secure the services of 27-year-old Argentine international Nicolas Tagliafico.
According to reputed Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Nicolas Tagliafico is becoming a coveted figure in the market among Premier League clubs. Aston Villa and Chelsea are vying for the signature of the 29-year-old Argentine international, who could leave Ajax in the January transfer window.
Nicolas Tagliafico joined Ajax from Independiente in January 2018 and has since made significant progress in his career. For much of his stay with the Dutch giants, the player has been a mainstay at the back. At the same time, Tagliafico has also been a regular feature for the Argentine national side in recent years.
However, the 2021/22 season has been one to forget for the 29-year-old as he has played second-fiddle to Daley Blind for the most part. As a result, Tagliafico has started only five of the 26 games played by Ajax this season, chipping in with a goal and an assist. However, despite the reduction in his stature in Amsterdam, Tagliafico remains a highly sought-after player, with Chelsea and Aston Villa keen on signing him.
The interest from Chelsea is understandable, considering Ben Chilwell will miss the remainder of the season due to a long-term knee injury. While the English international’s surgery has been successful, he will only return to action next season, leaving Thomas Tuchel with Marcos Alonso as the only natural left-back at his disposal.
With the Spanish international blowing hot and cold, Chelsea must sign a left-back in January to fill the void left by the absence of Chilwell. To that end, Tagliafico is one of the options on Chelsea’s radar, with Theo Hernandez and Lucas Digne also on their radar. However, the Blues will have to fend off competition from Aston Villa to land the Argentine international.
Aston Villa’s eagerness to sign Tagliafico can be explained by a situation not too dissimilar to the one at Chelsea. Matt Targett is the only out and out left-back at Steven Gerrard’s disposal, leaving the Midlands club searching for an additional option in the market. To that end, several left-backs have been linked with Aston Villa, who are reportedly leading the race to sign Aaron Hickey.
Tagliafico is also an option worth considering for Aston Villa, who have already made approaches for the Argentine international. However, the Villans are yet to open talks with Ajax over a January move, which keeps Chelsea in the hunt for his signing.
In addition to Aston Villa and Chelsea, Fabrizio Romano has also hinted at interest from Newcastle United in his tweet. With the 29-year-old becoming a highly sought-after player in the transfer market, it remains to be seen if he leaves Ajax to join a Premier League club in January.