Chelsea will now reportedly face competition for Atletico Madrid if they want to sign Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico this summer.
The Sun reports that the Blues have the 27-year-old on their shortlist of potential left-back targets ahead of the summer window, with Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell the first-choice option in that position.
It is understood that Tagliafico has a verbal agreement with Dutch giants Ajax to leave for £24.5million in the next window, as he agreed to stay for another season last year.
The report explains that Spanish outfit Atletico were keen on the full-back last year and have reignited their interest in him, but may have to sell before they buy.
Tagliafico has been linked with Chelsea recently as a possible solution for the full-back position, with both Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri struggling to cement a role in the starting XI this season under manager Frank Lampard.
The left-back was an ever-present in an Ajax side that reached the Champions League semi-finals last season and he’s once again caught the eye this season.
He is a 25-time capped Argentina international that loves to fly forward with pace and he’s got the delivery into the box to go with that too.
The left-footed defender scored five goals and supplied seven assists this season in just 38 games across all competitions.
Tagliafico clearly looks an impressive target in terms of his quality going forward, but above that he’s shown he is defensively strong one-on-one and he could help to tighten up a vulnerable Chelsea backline.
The South American speedster would be an absolute steal if signed for £24.5million and Lampard may be wise to make him the priority above Chilwell.