Nicolas Tagliafico: 6 Things to Know About the Arsenal, Barcelona & Real Madrid Target

?Ajax left back Nicolas Tagliafico has been linked with just about every European giant this summer, after producing some stellar performances this season. 

The 26-year-old Argentina international impressed in the shock result of the Champions League round of 16 stage as Real Madrid succumbed to 4-1 home loss and were knocked out of the competition. 

Tagliafico has bagged an impressive three goals in seven appearances and will have a chance to impress further as his side go up against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus in the quarter finals. 

While he seems set for a move in the next window, with ?his agent confirming as much, it remains anyone’s guess where the Argentinian will end up. Not only have Spanish giants Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid all been monitoring Tagliafico, but also north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham. 

With all this hype surrounding the Ajax star, here are six things you need to know about the man on everyone’s transfer list…


1. He Could Have Played for Italy Over Argentina

Nicolas Tagliafico,Federico Chiesa

In the modern age of globalisation and dual nationality, some players have had as tough a time choosing their country as their club side. Notably, England’s Declan Rice controversially pledged his allegiance to Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions after winning three caps (and the award for Young Player of the Year) for Ireland. 

Other notable controversies involve Diego Costa, who has featured for both Brazil and Spain, and Wilfried Zaha who left England for Ivory Coast. 

Argentina-born Tagliafico could have also followed suit as he holds both Italian and Argentinian citizenship. Not the easiest of choices but perhaps playing with Lionel Messi was the deciding factor in the end…


2. He Played for the Same Boyhood Club as James Rodriguez

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Despite James Rodriguez being Colombian, the 2014 World Cup star was at Argentine club CA Banfield at the same time as Tagliafico. 

Although the Bayern Munich midfielder broke through the Under-20 set up a year earlier, both players were making a name for themselves in South America.

There is even a possibility that they could both end up at Real Madrid for the start of next season. Tagliafico has been touted to replace Los Blancos’ Marcelo, while James Rodriguez’s loan spell with Bayern Munich is ending this season which could see him back in the Spanish capital. 


3. There’s a Host of Elite Sides on His Tail

Unai Emery . Mauricio Pochettino

Given that promising left backs are so hard to come by for big clubs, it is no wonder that the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham are after the 26-year-old as well. 

With both Madrid clubs and Barcelona also linked, it seems that transfer talk regarding the player is as unpredictable as this season’s Champions League. 

Even Newcastle have had their name thrown into the mix since Tagliafico burst onto the scene. 


4. A Bidding War Could Result in a Huge Transfer Fee

Markus Liebherr

Ajax’s owner Markus Liebherr has already seen homegrown sensation Frenkie de Jong leave for Barcelona. With Matthijs De Ligt said to be heading in the same direction as well, Tagliafico’s transfer could pile up the cash for the Dutch giants.

The transfer fee for Ajax’s man looks certain to rise extremely high even though he is not the youngest of players. Mind you, 26 is not old either. 

But with Bayern Munich setting the bar at £68m after they confirmed the signing of left back Lucas Hernandez, Ajax could be set to receive bids beyond their asking price. 


5. PSV Are His Kryptonite 

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The highly rated left back has an exceptional record for Ajax in the league, having only lost five times in 36 matches. Not bad. 

However, one club that has haunted him are current Eredivisie champions PSV. Tagliafico has played Ajax’s rivals twice in the league and has lost on both occasions. 

If he does end up at a club with a superstitious manager, perhaps fans will not be seeing his name on the team sheet if they come up against PSV. 


6. He Has Turned Down a Contract Extension

Nicolas Tagliafico

?Tagliafico’s agent Ricardo Schlieper spoke to Muy Independiente and revealed that a satisfactory contract was offered by Ajax to stay at the club but it was rejected. 

The full back looks favourable to follow a number of his teammates and leave Amsterdam this summer. It is just a question of where and for how much.

For now, he has to maintain his good form and help his team to try and close the five point gap between them and first place PSV in the Eredivisie.

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