Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico has reportedly told club chiefs he wants to secure a dream move to Catalan giants Barcelona.
Barca sporting director Mateu Alemany is reportedly working around the clock to seal new additions to Xavi’s squad in the final days of the January transfer window, and Chelsea target Tagliafico could be one of them.
The LaLiga side want more competition for Jordi Alba on the left side of defence. To this end, Tagliafico has become one of the best candidates, not least because he is quite cheap.
According to ESPN, the Argentina international has told Ajax that his heart is set for Barcelona.
In that case, a proposed switch to Stamford Bridge for the 29-year-old now looks like a non-runner.
Thomas Tuchel eyed Tagliafico to cover Ben Chilwell’s absence. The England defender is ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee ligament injury.
Tagliafico is also cheap at around £6million. However, the report adds that Barca want a first loan with an option to buy this summer.
Ajax boss Eric ten Hag would not be in favor of the player’s exit, but his employers have a different view. The Dutch giants, however, prefer a permanent move to a loan.
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Barca offer a swap deal
Meanwhile, it’s also reported that Barcelona could offer La Masia graduate Alejandro Balde as part of the transfer.
This would effectively make it a swap deal, with Ajax then receiving the younger of the two left-backs.
Xavi is of the opinion that Balde isn’t quite ready to step into Alba’s boots if needed while Tagliafico is ready for the role.
Barca now have a week to try and get a deal done, with the window closing on January 31.
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