Barcelona and Real Madrid reportedly face stiff competition from Argentine giants River Plate in the race to sign Nicolas Tagliafico from Ajax.

According to a report by Catalan outlet El Nacional, Nicolas Tagliafico has emerged on the radar of River Plate over a possible move in the summer transfer window. The Argentine giants have joined Barcelona and Real Madrid in pursuit of the 29-year-old Ajax defender.

Nicolas Tagliafico joined Ajax from Independiente in January 2018 and has since come leaps and bounds. Over the last four years, the Argentine international has established himself as one of the best full-backs in Europe while being a mainstay for La Albiceleste.

But the 2021/22 season has been difficult for the 29-year-old as he has fallen down the pecking order, with Daley Blind being the first-choice left-back. 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. But despite the reduction in his stature, the Argentine left-back remains a highly sought-after figure, with Real Madrid, Barcelona, and River Plate keen on signing him.

The interest from Real Madrid stems from Marcelo’s advancing age, with the Brazilian left-back expected to leave the club in the summer transfer window. A return to Brazil beckons the Real Madrid captain, and his departure would leave Los Blancos in need of a replacement, with Miguel Gutierrez’s future at the Santiago Bernabeu being uncertain.

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Tagliafico is thus a viable target for Real Madrid, who have also been linked with several other left-backs lately, including Jose Gaya. Gaya is also a key target for Barcelona, who could enter the market for a left-sided full-back in the summer amid Jordi Alba’s waning performance levels.

Tagliafico is a defender who has been on Barcelona’s radar for a long time, with the Argentine international being a viable alternative to Gaya. But Barcelona and Real Madrid will have to fend off competition from River Plate in the race to sign the 29-year-old.

The Argentine giants are prepared to offer Tagliafico a lucrative contract and the prospect of playing regularly for a club vying for the top honours in South America. In turn, the player will have the chance of establishing himself as the first-choice left-back for Argentina at the 2022 Qatar World Cup. So, Barcelona and Real Madrid will have a battle on their hands in the race to sign the 29-year-old, with River Plate becoming a leading contender for his signature.

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