Premier League • England

Chelsea told they can have Ben Chilwell replacement for January bargain £6m

Nicolas Tagliafico TEAMtalk

Chelsea and Barcelona have reportedly been informed by Ajax how much it cost them to sign left-back Nicolas Tagliafico in the January transfer window.

The 29-year-old continues to be linked with Thomas Tuchel’s men despite being a mainstay of the Ajax side since he joined them in 2018 from Independiente. However, LaLiga giants Barca are also keen on striking a deal for the Argentine’

According to TyC Sports, the two clubs have been told that the signing of Tagliafico this month will cost them £6million.

The player’s future is currently up in the air, given that he will be out of contract in the summer of 2023. Indeed, if Ajax do want to recoup any kind of decent transfer fee then they will have to sell now or over the summer.

Tagliafico, who has won 36 Argentina caps, has scored once in 14 appearances for Ajax this season.

Chelsea’s need for another left-back option is an obvious one after Ben Chilwell suffered a season-ending injury.

The Blues were tipped to sign Lucas Digne, but the Frenchman opted to swap Everton for Aston Villa instead. That leaves a void in Tuchel’s first-team squad, one which Tagliafico could fill.

Marcos Alonso remains a constant for the Blues but if anything happens to the Spaniard then Tuchel would likely have to use the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi or move skipper Cesar Azpilicueta across there.

Tagliafico needed for squad depth

Tuchel will also be concerned by the lack of Chelsea clean sheets in recent outings. Indeed, their last one came in a 0-0 draw with Wolves back in December.

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The Blues have not won in their last four Premier League games. They are now 12 points behind leaders Manchester City.

However, they will have the perfect opportunity to put that right when they host normal Stamford Bridge whipping boys Tottenham on Sunday.

Tuchel’s men eased past Spurs in the Carabao Cup semi-finals, completely outclassing their London rivals in the process. But the German will be hoping his players are fully refreshed, after complaining of tiredness during the midweek draw with Brighton.

Chelsea top contenders to land Barca attacker

Meanwhile, Chelsea are emerging as the leading candidates to sign Ousmane Dembele this month after his Barcelona contract impasse saw Xavi reach a dramatic decision.

The World Cup winner has six months left on his current Barca deal and his next move has been the subject of speculation for a while. In fact, he had links with a move to Newcastle immediately after their takeover in October.

But the situation has dragged on without a resolution. Barcelona have set Dembele and his camp several deadlines by which they wanted a decision, but no concrete updates have arrived.

That is, until this week. Indeed, Barcelona told Dembele on Monday that he has two days to make a final decision.

Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona

However, as per Sky Germany, the winger has stunned Xavi once again by repeating his astronomical €43m a year wage demands. And with that working out at £700,000 a week, it’s clearly far higher than cash-strapped Barcelona are willing to spend.

And according to Fabrizio Romano, Dembele has officially told those in power at Barcelona that he wants to leave the Nou Camp.

As such, Xavi is reported to have responded by removing Dembele from first-team training.

And the club have seemingly put the player instantly on the transfer list. Indeed, they’ve told him to leave before the end of the month.

“With Ousmane and his agents we started conversations around the month of July,” Barcelona academy director Mateu Alemany said.

“In all this time, almost seven months, we have talked, Barca has made different offers. We have tried to find a way for the player to continue with us. Those offers have been continuously rejected by his agents.

Dembele not vested in Barcelona project

“It seems obvious to us that the player does not want to continue at Barcelona. He is not committed to Barca’s future project.

“We told him and his agents that he must leave the club immediately. Barcelona only want to have players committed to the project.

“We expect a transfer to take place before January 31. The sporting consequence is that we don’t want to have players who don’t want to be at Barca.

“The fact that he was not in the [squad] list for today is the consequence of this whole process. The coach has our full support, it’s a consistent attitude.”

Sky Germany now believe a lowly fee will tempt Barcelona to cash in on the winger.

And while Newcastle are among his suitors, the Daily Express claims a move to Chelsea looks most likely.

Citing transfer guru Pedro Almeida, the Blues are readying a bid of just £12.5m (€15m).

That remains an incredible low amount for a player who cost Barcelona a huge £135m just five years ago.

READ MORE: Mino Raiola ‘pushing’ Chelsea, Man City target towards transfer as reduced fee emerges