Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake, who is on the radars of former club Chelsea, is reportedly closing in on a £35 million switch to Manchester City.
As reported by The Guardian, Manchester City are closing in on their first major signing of the summer as Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Ake is edging towards a transfer to the Etihad. The Dutchman is also a target for Chelsea and Manchester United.
Ake came through the youth ranks at Chelsea, having joined them back in 2011 from Dutch club Feyenoord. However, the 25-year-old could never quite establish himself at the first-team level at Stamford Bridge. After impressive loan spells away at Watford and Bournemouth, he made a permanent switch to the latter in 2017, in a £20 million deal.
Since then, Ake has grown into an integral member of the Cherries’ team under Eddie Howe. While things haven’t gone their way in the ongoing campaign, the Dutchman’s reputation has hardly taken a hit, as he continues to outshine most of his teammates on the field.
Sometimes you need steady and reliable. Some stuff from the athletic article. As of 4th July:
7th best tackle success rate out of 55 CBs to play 900+mins in the prem
0 mistakes leading to a goal
89.1% pass success rate, the best of anyone outside top 4
All for a struggling AFCB
— ?Chris Booth? (@CBoothy) July 20, 2020
With relegation looming large for Bournemouth, there seems to be a general acceptance that Ake will be exiting the Vitality Stadium in the summer. And now, it is being claimed that Manchester City are on the verge of signing the 11-time capped Netherlands international in a deal that could cost them £35 million.
It is no secret that Manchester City have suffered defensively this season, after having failed to replace club legend Vincent Kompany. It did not help matters that Aymeric Laporte was sidelined for large chunks of the campaign, while John Stones has been a pale shadow of his past self over the last year or so.
While Eric Garcia has emerged as a prospect, the youngster is still lacking the experience that Pep Guardiola will need if Manchester City are to reassert their domination in the Premier League next term. Ake, to that end, would be a fine addition for the Cityzens.
Strong and physical, his presence would help Guardiola address his team’s weakness in set-piece situations, while he is more than capable of playing out from the back, which would sit in well with the way the manager wants his team to play.
This development will come as a major blow to Chelsea. Having sold Ake in in 2017, the Blues have been constantly linked with attempting to re-sign him. And the need is more apparent now than ever, given how the Chelsea backline has performed this season under new boss Frank Lampard.
Given that Kurt Zouma is being linked with an exit after an inconsistent campaign, Chelsea could have benefited greatly from signing Ake. However, that opportunity seems to have now passed as the Dutchman is closing in on a transfer to the Etihad.
Manchester City have not only beaten Chelsea, but also local rivals Manchester United to the defender’s signing. The Red Devils, too, had been credited with an interest in the 25-year-old of late, with there being suggestions that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had even tried to tap up Ake after United beat Bournemouth earlier this month.
A transfer fee of £35 million for a defender that has proven himself at the Premier League level for a number of years now seems like a steal. If the report is indeed true, Manchester City seem to have struck gold.