The race for Ajax fullback Nicolas Tagliafico is intensifying. Tagliafico joined Ajax from Independiente in January 2018 for just £3.6million.
The 27-year-old quickly settled into life in Amsterdam, scoring 12 goals and providing 15 assists in 99 appearances in all competitions.
But his exploits have attracted attention from abroad and the player himself has done little to dampen speculation.
“It’s always been my goal to play in the best competitions, at a top club,” Tagliafico told Argentinian radio station Continental in May.
“Ajax is an amazing club, but the Eredivisie is not an amazing competition. One should always have bigger dreams.”
Everton, Chelsea and Leicester City have also been linked with the Argentina international, who has been told he can leave Ajax this summer.
Everton chief Marcel Brands is also making a move for Tagliafico following the retirement of Leighton Baines.
Tagliafico is considered a backup option for Chelsea, who are close to sealing a deal for first-choice target Ben Chilwell.
Leicester will need to replace their England international and Ajax’s left-back is top of their shortlist of replacements
But Spanish newspaper Marca claim Barcelona and new manager Ronald Koeman are now firmly in the race.
It’s believed the club are uncertain about the futures of Jordi Alba and Junior Firpo and have lodged an official enquiry with Ajax.
Barcelona consider Tagliafico’s £22.5million valuation an ‘affordable’ figure providing one of Firpo or Alba is sold.
Tagliafico who has spent three years with Ajax, has two years to run on his contract and is rated in the region of €25m.