Chelsea and Newcastle United have reportedly been handed a boost in the pursuit of Nathan Ake as Manchester City look to offload him this summer.
According to the Football Insider, Manchester City have informed Nathan Ake he is free to leave the club this summer, with a host of Premier League clubs, including Chelsea and Newcastle United, interested in the Dutchman. However, the Citizens will only sell the 27-year-old if they get the right offer and have a replacement lined up before serving the versatile defender his marching orders.
Ake joined Manchester City from Bournemouth in the summer of 2020 following the Cherries’ relegation to the second-tier and has been a bit-part player ever since, featuring in only ten Premier League games in his debut season and 14 last term.
Despite his lack of playing time, Ake is highly regarded at Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola described as a huge admirer of his compatibility and attitude. However, the Catalan coach is willing to part ways with the 27-year-old if the right offer arrives and if he also gets his preferred replacement.
With Ake having three years left to run on his Manchester City contract, the Citizens may yet demand a sizable compensation to let him go, valuing him around £40 million as they look to recoup the full amount they splurged to get him from Bournemouth.
While the price tag could be deemed hefty, this update will come as a piece of good news for Ake’s potential suitors, who will now only have to renegotiate transfer terms, with Manchester City at least now on the table to trade the Dutch international.
Chelsea, for one, have been linked with a number of defenders as Thomas Tuchel attempts to rebuild his backline following the exits of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. The Blues have conducted talks with Jules Kounde and Matthijs de Ligt, but Ake has emerged as one of the top targets for Chelsea this summer.
There is no arguing that Ake is not a world-class defender like Rudiger. But he is a competent ball-playing defender with over 25 caps for the Netherlands with strong leadership qualities. His athleticism and ball progression attributes would enable him to slot comfortably alongside Thiago Silva, who boasts strong anticipatory skills.
Above all, Ake is homegrown and already boasts extensive Premier League experience with Bournemouth, Chelsea and Manchester City, ruling out the risk of a big-money overseas flop. That said, Chelsea may have anticipated that Ake would be a less expensive option than their other targets because £40 million is very steep for a defender who has not seen much action in the last two seasons.
Newcastle have also been credited with an interest in Ake in recent weeks, with Eddie Howe a big fan of his talents having previously worked with him at Bournemouth. However, with Sven Botman and Dan Burn filling up the left-sided centre-back roster, it is unlikely that the Magpies would spend big on another left-footed defender.