Chelsea and Ajax have already agreed to one deal this year – £37 million for Hakim Ziyech – and appear ready to do another deal together. According to The Telegraph, Ajax have offered left-back Nicolas Tagliafico to the Blues at a cut price of £22.4 million.
REPORT: Chelsea Offered Nicolas Tagliafico by Ajax at Cut Price
Earlier this week, Tagliafico’s agent, Ricardo Schlieper, confirmed they have an agreement for the left-back to leave after this season. To Radio del Plata and via London.Football, his agent said: “We are looking for a transfer for Tagliafico. We have agreed with Ajax that he would leave this year. After having spent two and a half seasons at the club, it’s the ideal moment.”
Tagliafico was a member of the magical 2018/19 Ajax squad that reached the Champions League semi-finals, upsetting Real Madrid and Juventus along the way. In 15 matches between the qualifying rounds and the competition proper, the Argentine racked up three goals and added two assists. And according to WhoScored, he averaged a 7.10 rating in the group stage and knockouts, including one man of the match performance. In the Dutch league that season, he averaged a cool 7.47 rating.
This year with Ajax in the Champions League, he’s done even better. He averaged four and a half tackles a game, three interceptions, and 2.7 clearances a game defensively in six games. In attack, he contributed one goal and assist each with one key pass per match as well. In total, Tagliafico averaged a credible 7.57 average rating.
And this is exactly why Chelsea want him. Tagliafico is in his prime and does great work on both sides of the ball. He can pass, cross, and stand his ground defensively. And with a tireless work rate, he fits the Blues young, exciting, fast style of play manager Frank Lampard prefers. On top of all that, he is reportedly coming at a steal of a deal.
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Suffice it to say, the Blues have not and cannot give up their search just yet. But signing Tagliafico, who has two years remaining on his contract, would result in a massive improvement to the backline. A backline that struggled quite a bit this season.
With Chelsea and Ajax’s relationship in a great place, evidenced by the Ziyech deal, they will only strengthen it with a deal for Tagliafico. And the player himself seems keen on the move as well.
Metro reported that earlier this month, Tagliafico spoke of his desire to join a Premier League club. “Ajax it’s a great club, but as a player of course you dream of playing in the biggest leagues and the Premier League is right now the most competitive one, a bit above La Liga and Serie A,” he told Argentina’s Radio Continental.
Chelsea missed out on one, if not two, other options at left-back. But they better get a move on it now. Tagliafico is not one they can afford to miss now.