Man City and Barcelona target Tagliafico signs new Ajax contract


NicolasTagliaficohas signed a new contract that will keep him at Ajax until 2023.

However, the Daily Mail suggest the contract includes a clause that will allow the defender to leave the club next year should a major foreign side show an interest.

Tagliaficohas been linked with a host of big clubs in recent years, including Manchester United, Inter, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona and Manchester City.

HakimZiyech, now at Chelsea, was said to have had a similaragreementwritten into his contract before he left Ajax for Stamford Bridge earlier this year.

Earlier this yearGoal confirmed Atletico’s interest, with Diego Simeone’s side joining the race for the Argentina international.

At the international levelTagliafico has earned 27 caps for his country since his 2017 debut, playing every minute of his side’s four matches at the 2018 World Cup.

Man City have been strongly linked in recent weeks, with Chelsea having cooled their interest after signing Ben Chilwell from Leicester City this summer.

Tagliaficojoined Ajax in January 2018 from Argentina’s Independiente and helped them to reach the Champions League semi-finals against the odds in his first full season.

Since the start of that campaign, 2018-19, only five defenders have featured more regularly in Europe’s premierclubcompetition thanTagliafico(21), whileJuan Bernat and Raphael Guerreiro (five each) are the only two tohave more goals than the Ajax defender (four).

But he has also proven himself shrewd defensively.

His total of 39 successful tackles is second only to team-mateNoussairMazraoui(40), while Mats Hummels (50) is the sole defender with more thanTagliafico’s45 interceptions.

The Argentina international comes out on top for overall duels (286) and duels won (165), however, highlighting the fearlessness Ajax would lose were he to leave.

Nevertheless, Friday’s news should at least ensure Ajax secure a healthy profit if he does depart in 2021.

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