Marc Overmars has broken his silence on the reasons why Nicolas Tagliafico’s proposed move to Barcelona broke down ahead of deadline day.

In an interview with Dutch outlet Voetbal International, Marc Overmars has lifted the lid on Nicolas Tagliafico’s failed move to Barcelona. The Ajax director has admitted that it has been difficult to keep hold of the Argentine defender but that the deal’s timing did not work well for Ajax.

Nicolas Tagliafico has gone from a pivotal player for Ajax for the first three years of his stint to a bit-part player. The Argentine defender’s game-time has been adversely affected as Daley Blind has been largely utilised as a left-back. The player has managed to start only six of the 29 games played by Ajax this season, chipping in with two goals and an assist in the process.

With his stature at Ajax on the wane, the 29-year-old sought a January departure from the Dutch club, with several European bigwigs showing an interest in him. But Tagliafico desired to join Barcelona, with the Blaugrana themselves keen on securing his services.

Jordi Alba’s waning form had prompted Barcelona to enter the market for a left-back, especially with Alejandro Balde failing to settle down in the first-team setup at Camp Nou. Barcelona even offered Balde on loan to Ajax in the deal to sign the Argentine international, but the part-exchange transfer never materialised.

In the end, Tagliafico ended up staying put at Ajax, with Barcelona calling off the pursuit ahead of deadline day. Ajax director Marc Overmars has now explained why a move never saw the light of day.

“It was quite difficult to keep Nico. I wish Nico everything, but we also have to make sure we don’t shoot our own foot. We did not come to a good solution. Of course that’s a shame for him, because Barcelona still has a fantastic name. It is now sour for him that he plays less with us, but a transfer was not possible now.”

“Something will happen that makes you have to put down a youth player and something will go wrong… I hope for Nico that something good will come at the end of the season. But this deal only had drawbacks for Ajax.”

Only time will tell whether Barcelona will retain the interest in Tagliafico when the transfer window reopens in the summer. With Jose Gaya, Alejandro Grimaldo and several other left-backs also on their radar, it might be likely that Barcelona’s interest in the 29-year-old will have ended.

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