Ajax hold the key to Liverpool’s Tello pursuit

Reports from Spain have suggested that Ajax may hold the key to any deal for Barcelona's Cristian Tello.

Reports in Spain are suggesting that Liverpool will attempt to sign Barcelona forward Cristian Tello this summer.

With a release clause of just €10million, the 21-year-old is an exciting and accessible target for Brendan Rodgers.

But whether they can secure his services reportedly rests on the fate of another Barcelona player, Isaac Cuenca, currently on loan at Ajax.

The reports from Spanish newspaper Marca suggest that if Cuenca extends his loan spell in Holland, Tello will almost certainly stay at the Nou Camp.

But should Cuenca return to Spain, Tello will face even more competition for a starting place, already made difficult by the presence of Lionel Messi, Pedro, Alexis Sanchez and David Villa.

With Luis Suarez banned for the first six games of next season, and with Rodgers already suggesting he will sign attacking players in the summer, Tello fits the mould perfectly.

Alongside Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling, Tello could form the next generation of Liverpool forwards.

Tello’s release clause would have been increased this season, but the Spaniard hasn’t played the requisite number of matches.

And yet in 19 league games this season (only 11 of which he has started) Tello has scored 7 goals and provided 4 assists.

Which all means that Liverpool will be paying close attention to Cuenca and Ajax in the coming weeks.

Cuenca has already spoken of his desire to remain in Holland next season rather than return to Barcelona. But that is a decision yet to be made.

Since his loan spell began in January, Cuenca has started only three matches and been involved from the bench just once. And while he may wish to stay, Ajax manager Frank de Boer will wonder if he needs him.

In the three games Cuenca has started, Ajax have won only once.

And while a knee injury has prevented more regular contribution, de Boer’s side have excelled without Cuenca, building a four point lead over PSV at the top of the Eredivisie.

It is no surprise the player wants to stay at a club that plays football in a similar vein to Barcelona.

But he has so far done little to prove he merits another year. And will hope the reports are true that Ajax’s sporting director Marc Overmars was in Catalonia recently to discuss extending the deal.

Liverpool, on the other hand, will hope those reports are wide of the mark.

Having already attempted to sign Tello on loan last summer, the Reds will be hoping to go one better this time.

Matching his release clause will give the player pause for thought; where he must decide whether to be an instant superstar at Anfield or bide his time in Catalonia.

How good would Cristian Tello be for Liverpool?  And is he one of the players Rodgers should attempt to sign this summer?

image: © pupismyname

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