Newcastle United tried and failed to bring Ajax’s Eredivisie star Tagliafico to the Premier League but he could be on route to La Liga instead.

Reports that Newcastle United were struggling to afford just £8 million for Nicolas Tagliafico rather sums up the lack of ambition at St James’ Park in recent seasons.

The Argentina international had impressed in Holland for Ajax with his energy, combative style and swashbuckling attacking approach marking him out as the player who could finally solve Newcastle’s left-back problem.

But, according to The Chronicle, the £8 million Ajax were demanding for Tagliafico in July proved to be a little too rich for a side who have only broken their transfer record once since 2005.

And it’s fair to say Tagliafico could cost a lot more than £8 million these days – particularly with the giants of Real Madrid interested.

The 26-year-old has produced four goals and five assists for Ajax this season and shone in their cruel Champions League defeat at home to Real earlier in February. Tagliafico caused major problems going forward and was only denied a goal by a particularly harsh VAR call.

According to TYC Sports, the diminutive full-back is now on Real’s radar, potentially as a replacement for the legendary yet out-of-favour Marcelo.

Suddenly, £8 million for Tagliafico looks like a real bargain. Unfortunately for Newcastle, the chance has passed them by.

In other news, Gary Rowett comments on 2017 Rangers job interview, won't rule out future Ibrox move