Barcelona defender Alejandro Balde reportedly has no intention of becoming a makeweight in the deal to sign Nicolas Tagliafico from Ajax.

According to a report by Spanish publication MARCA, Alejandro Balde does not want to be a part of the deal that could help Barcelona sign Nicolas Tagliafico. The 18-year-old is open to staying put at Barcelona and will only leave in the ongoing transfer window if a better offer comes his way.

Alejandro Balde has long been regarded as one of the brightest young defenders in Spain, having gone from strength to strength since joining Barcelona’s fabled academy La Masia from Espanyol as an eight-year-old in 2011. The Spaniard has made massive strides in the last decade and was officially promoted to the first-team setup at the onset of the 2021/22 season.

But Balde has featured as many times for Barcelona B in the ongoing campaign as he has for the first team, making six appearances for each side. With the 18-year-old making slow progress since being promoted to the first-team squad, the Catalan giants have been forced to enter the market for a left-back, especially with Jordi Alba regressing considerably.

Barcelona’s search for Alba’s successor has narrowed down to a select few left-backs, with Nicolas Tagliafico becoming their priority for the January transfer window as Jose Gaya is unlikely to arrive at Camp Nou this month. The Argentine defender, for his part, is keen on joining Barcelona and has halted negotiations with Napoli over a winter transfer.

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While signing Tagliafico will not cost a bomb, the La Liga heavyweights have been planning to use Alejandro Balde as a sweetener to secure the services of the 29-year-old defender. The transfer will be in the form of a loan deal, but Balde has no intention of joining Ajax this month.

Balde does not mind staying put at Barcelona for the remainder of the season, even though he will be relegated to Barcelona B if Tagliafico arrives. But the 18-year-old is not opposed to the idea of temporarily departing Camp Nou this month if an attractive offer comes his way.

However, Balde’s stance comes as a major blow for Barcelona, who will now have to find another way to secure the services of Tagliafico. At the same time, it is also important to offload a player to make room for a player to be registered, with Ousmane Dembele’s departure crucial to that end now.

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