Manchester City are interested in signing Ajax full-back Nicolas Tagliafico and could make a move for him before the transfer window shuts, as per a report from the Telegraph. They could potentially offload Ukrainian international Oleksandr Zinchenko, who is reportedly being eyed by Barcelona.
Argentine defender Tagliafico has been one of the most impressive full-backs in the UEFA Champions League and has been on the radar of several top clubs.
The 28-year-old would go a long way in strengthening the left-back spot, which has been a concerning issue for Manchester City.
Reports suggested earlier that Manchester United earmarked Tagliafico as a potential backup option for their primary target Alex Telles. It was said that the Ajax man would be available for a fee of £23m and that the Amsterdam club would not stand in his way should he wish to leave.
Manchester City have struggled in the recent past with their options at left-back, mainly due to Benjamin Mendy's recurring injuries and poor form. Right-footed Joao Cancelo and Zinchenko have had to fill in for the injured Frenchman, but Pep Guardiola would need a stable, long-term option for left-back spot.
The 28-year-old is an excellent option for the Catalan. In 23 league starts for the Dutch champions, Tagliafico averaged 2.7 tackles per game and a total of seven goals and assists from left-back, and has put in a string of impressive performances in the UEFA Champions League as well.
Should they purchase him, he would be their third defender of the window, after Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias, who's £65m purchase is yet to be announced by the club.
Barcelona eye two Manchester City defenders
Should the Cityzens want to sign Tagliafico, they must offload Zinchenko to do so. The 23-year-old has been linked with a move to Barcelona in recent times along with his teammate Eric Garcia.
The Spaniard, formerly of Barcelona's La Masia academy, has reportedly set his heart on a return to his former club upon the expiry of his current contract at the Etihad Stadium. Garcia is viewed as a priority for Barcelona's defence this summer as they look to bolster their options in central defence.
Although Zinchenko is not likely to be a guaranteed starter at Barcelona, his versatility is sure to aid new manager Ronald Koeman's cause. The Ukrainian is an extremely versatile player, and has been deployed in positions ranging from attacking midfield to, more recently, left-back.
Published 29 Sep 2020, 19:36 IST