Nicolas Tagliafico's Agent Says It's 'Time to Take a Leap' Amid Arsenal Rumours

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2019

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MARCH 13: Nicolas Tagliafico of Ajax  during the Dutch Eredivisie  match between Ajax v PEC Zwolle at the Johan Cruijff Arena on March 13, 2019 in Amsterdam Netherlands (Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico, who has been linked with Arsenal and Atletico Madrid, looks set to leave the Dutch side this summer after his agent, Ricardo Schlieper, said it is "time to take a leap."

Tagliafico still has a contract with Ajax until 2022, so they will be able to demand a significant fee for him.

But Schlieper said the 26-year-old has turned down the offer of a new deal at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, per Muy Independiente (h/t MailOnline's Matt Porter):

"Ajax made an economic offer to match what the clubs claiming to Nicolas could afford, but it was not accepted because it is the just time to take a leap. Let's see what happens in the market. Nico has an enormous virtue that is his professionalism, his entire discipline. This, sooner or later, takes you to the place you want."

Tagliafico only joined Ajax in January last year for £4 million from Independiente and has subsequently become a key player in Erik ten Hag's side.

The Argentina international has an impressive all-around game, contributing both in attack and defence down the left flank:

StatsBomb @StatsBomb

Nicolas Tagliafico, Ajax 18-19. Rumoured to be a potential fullback target for Arsenal this summer. https://t.co/ljkTbbCe7V

He has played a crucial role in Ajax's impressive run to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, scoring three goals and also having one ruled out by VAR in the last-16 first leg against Real Madrid.

Arsenal's interest is unsurprising as they have lacked strength in depth at full-back this season, and Nacho Monreal is now 33.

Atleti's interest is also understandable given it was recently confirmed Lucas Hernandez will be joining Bayern Munich in the summer.

Marca reported Tagliafico could be snapped up for €25 million (£21.5 million), and Tottenham Hotspur are also said to be interested in him (h/t Sport Witness).

Given Tagliafico's quality, a price tag of between £20 and £25 million could be a relative bargain—Bayern paid €80 million (£68 million) for Hernandez:

B/R Football @brfootball

Lucas Hernandez becomes the second most expensive defender of all time 🤑 https://t.co/6ZTjOwkOI4

There is always the concern that a player who has thrived in the Eredivisie may struggle to make the step up to the Premier League or La Liga.

But it looks as though Tagliafico will be on the move this summer, with Madrid or north London the likely destination.