Football News

Ajax’s Real Madrid target Nicolás Tagliafico feeling “great” about Barcelona links

By CJ Smith

Published: 18:45, 22 March 2019

Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico has admitted it feels ‘great’ to be linked with Barcelona and Arsenal but insists he won’t ‘disrespect’ his current club.

The Argentina international is one of a number of players to turn heads for the Dutch giants this season, who shocked the footballing world by beating Real Madrid in the Champions League round-of-16.

Could Ajax lose another star? Five key things to know…

  1. Tagliafico was part of the Ajax side that beat Real Madrid 4-1 at the Bernabeu.
  2. Teammate Frenkie de Jong has already agreed a deal to Barca, while Matthijs de Ligt is heavily linked too.
  3. The likes of Barcelona, Arsenal and Real Madrid have all been linked with Tagliafico.
  4. The Argentina international has insisted he won’t be disrespectful to Ajax, but feels ‘great’ about the links.
  5. Only Allan (39), Sergio Busquets and Noussair Mazraoui (both 30) have made more tackles than Tagliafico (25) in this season’s Champions League.

Frenkie de Jong has already agreed a summer move to Barcelona, while Matthijs de Ligt is also being heavily linked, and now Tagliafico is the latest to be rumoured for a move away from Amsterdam, with Real Madrid themselves also said to be interested.

However, the left-back is keeping his feet on the ground, refusing to be overly drawn on transfer speculation.

“I am enjoying life and football. We are privileged as footballers,” he told Mundo Deportivo of the exit rumours.

“Our work is something fascinating and something we love to do. I enjoy playing for the national team and my club. I can’t think of what’s coming, that’s disrespectful to my club.”

However, he added on the links to some of Europe’s biggest clubs: “It’s great that they talk about me, because that means things are going well.

“But I can only focus on the present. Friday we [Argentina] have to beat Venezuela and that’s what counts.”

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Who could Tagliafico replace?

All three aforementioned clubs could arguably do with a revamp in the left-back department.

Real Madrid’s Marcelo has been one of the most consistent performers in that position over the years but has been in and out of the starting XI at the Bernabeu this season, with him and his family showing displeasure at his current situation.

Barcelona’s Jordi Alba has been similarly impressive over the years but has recently turned 30 and will do well to maintain his pace and fitness for the coming years.

And Arsenal could also do with more cover at left-back, with Nacho Monreal advancing into his 30s and struggling with injuries. Sead Kolasinac is an excellent option as an attacking full-back, but can often leave large spaces exposed behind him allowing the opposition to counter-attack the Gunners.