Manchester United’s hopes of signing Alex Telles are not over. But a deal for the Porto left-back are not done yet.
This could have prompted United to make another contingency plan.
The Sun reports United have identified Ajax star Nicolas Tagliafico as an alternative to Telles.
Tagliafico is reportedly available at £23 million, a similar value to the amount Porto are seeking for Telles.
Nicolas Tagliafico: What we need to know
1) Tagliafico has become a regular international for Argentina since making his debut in 2017. He has 25 caps for his country and has even captained the side.
2) The 28-year-old joined Ajax from Independiente in 2018. In his first full season he won two domestic trophies and reached the Champions League semi-finals.
3) Last season Tagliafico scored five goals in all competitions for Ajax. He has 12 in total for the club.
4) He managed seven assists last season for Ajax and has 15 for the Dutch side altogether.
5) Data from Total Football Analysis notes Tagliafico is more efficient than both Alex Telles and Andrew Robertson when it comes to ball recoveries, and rank his all round game as superior to both players, labelling him ‘world class’.
Why his situation makes a move possible
Earlier this summer Ajax made clear they would not stand in Tagliafico’s path along with Donny van de Beek, who ended up signing for United, Goal.com reported.
Tagliafico is under contract until 2022, but at 28, this is a prime moment for him to make a big move before it is too late.
Chelsea and Leicester were both linked with a move for him earlier this summer, The Mail reported, before Ben Chilwell and Timothy Castagne made moves.
United’s one deal was with Ajax to sign Van de Beek. A deal was pretty simple to conclude with Edwin van der Sar on the other side of negotiations.
Tagliafico is a strong player who would add good competition for United and his availability and the Ajax connection makes this a sensible alternative for the club to consider, even just as a fall-back option.
What they say about him
Ajax Daily reported in 2018: “In Argentina, they see Nicolás Tagliofico because of his lung-busting stamina, excellent technique and continuous enterprise, as a reminiscent of his country’s record cap holder Javier Zanetti”
It helps that Zanetti and Tagliafico both began their careers at Argentine club Banfield.
Former Argentine international Juan Pablo Sorin told 442: “I really like how Tagliafico plays, it seems to me that he is an old-fashioned three.”
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