Chelsea will intensify their efforts to sign Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico, reports claim. The 25-cap Argentina international is expected to leave the Eredivisie champions in the upcoming transfer window.
The Blues already acquired the services of Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech and RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner for a combined £86million.
But Frank Lampard has now switched his attentions to bolstering his defensive options.
The English manager is reportedly unsatisfied with current left-backs Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso, who have both struggled for consistency this season.
And there’s no shortage of names being linked with the Stamford Bridge side, who sit fourth in the Premier League table.
Leicester star Ben Chilwell, Porto’s Alex Telles and Alex Sandro of Juventus have all been suggested as potential options.
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Chilwell, 23, is the club’s priority target but his signature is expected to cost a staggering £80m.
Tagliafico, 27, is viewed as a cheaper alternative to the England international and, according to Transfermarketweb, Chelsea will have a ‘serious run’ at bringing him to west London.
The report comes just a few days after Ajax boss Ten Hag revealed Tagliafico, goalkeeper Andre Onana and midfielder Donny van de Beek could all be sold.
“The transfer market will start in August – the top leagues are now being played out, so the money flows are maintained,” Ten Hag told Het Parool.
“The market value of players will be slightly depressed, but not much. Based on their performance and ambition, a number of our players also want to make the move abroad.
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“Agreements have been made with Andre Onana, Donny van de Beek and Nicolas Tagliafico, but it remains to be seen whether the market is indeed breaking loose.
“For Onana and Van de Beek, another year of Ajax could certainly be an option, for Tagliafico it is slightly different because of his age.
“In the preparation I am going to try Lisandro Martínez in that position. He has also played in midfield with us, but he is a defender.”
Ten Hag’s comments confirm what Tagliafico’s agent Ricardo Schlieper revealed in May.
“We have agreed with Ajax that he would leave this year,” Schlieper said. “After having spent two-and-a-half seasons at the club, it’s the ideal moment for it.
“If football goes back to being normal, a transfer could be done for Tagliafico.”
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