Manchester City are reportedly ready to rival Barcelona and Napoli in the race to sign AFC Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico in the summer.
According to Calciomercato, Manchester City are interested in a summer swoop for AFC Ajax and Argentina defender Nicolas Tagliafico, who is also a transfer target for Barcelona.
Tagliafico has been with Ajax for over four years now, having signed from Independiente in January 2018. The 29-year-old had been a regular in the side for most of his stint in the Netherlands but has seen his game-time take a hit in the ongoing campaign as manager Erik ten Hag has preferred to use Daley Blind at left-back.
As a result, Tagliafico has been restricted to just 13 league appearances this season and only 21 across all competitions, in which he has scored two goals and created three more. The Argentine international, as a result, was keen on securing an exit in the January transfer window, with Barcelona being keen on his signature.
However, Ajax blocked the move, which did not go down too well with the left-back. Nevertheless, he has continued in a professional manner with the Eredivisie champions. He is expected to move in the summer, with Barcelona remaining interested in his services, even though Jose Gaya is their priority target for the left-back slot.
The Blaugrana need a proper cover for senior left-back Jordi Alba, who is 32 years old and continues to play relentlessly without any rest or rotation. Bringing in someone like Tagliafico would allow Barcelona to properly rotate Alba while also providing them with a quality successor once the Spaniard enters the final phase of his career.
However, the Catalans are now set to face competition from former manager Pep Guardiola, whose Manchester City are also interested in signing Tagliafico. The left-back slot is an area where the current Premier League champions lack depth. Joao Cancelo has done brilliantly despite being a natural right-back and looks likely to continue as the first choice in the position.
But, with Benjamin Mendy indefinitely suspended and Oleksandr Zinchenko’s future not certain, the Cityzens could do with another body in the left-back department, which would explain their keenness to sign Tagliafico. Apart from Manchester City and Barcelona, Serie A title contenders Napoli, too, are looking at the 29-year-old as a prospective target for the summer.
The Argentine’s contract with Ajax stands to expire in 2023, meaning he will not cost a bomb either. It remains to be seen who among the interested parties comes out on top in the race to land Tagliafico.