Chelsea have reportedly agreed to a £45 million fee with Manchester City for Nathan Ake, who has already accepted personal terms to join the Blues.
According to 90 min, Chelsea are on the verge of finalising Nathan Ake’s transfer from Manchester City and have agreed to a fee worth £45 million to sign their former academy star.
The Blues’ desperate search for defensive reinforcements has led them back to a familiar face in Ake, who spent six years progressing through the Chelsea academy, joining them as a youngster in 2011 before leaving for Bournemouth in 2017. Chelsea already have an agreement in place over personal terms with the Dutch defender and were hopeful of finding a breakthrough in negotiations with Manchester City within the next week.
It now seems they have taken a significant step forward by agreeing to a £45 million base fee with Manchester City, although the exact structure of payments and potential add-ons are still left to be determined before rubber-stamping the deal.
The 27-year-old joined Manchester City from Bournemouth in August 2020 for £40 million but has only featured 40 times for Pep Guardiola’s side across all competitions since then. Ake has battled to establish himself at Manchester City, failing to start consistently for the Citizens but proving to be a reliable operator whenever called upon.
Deputising at both centre-back and left-back, his versatility was extremely valuable for Manchester City last term, which was his most productive season since arriving at the Etihad Stadium. And it comes as no surprise that Manchester City want to recoup most of their initial investment in the former Bournemouth man, with Guardiola demanding a new senior defensive reinforcement to replace Ake.
Meanwhile, with the 2022 FIFA World Cup on the horizon and a spot in the Dutch national team at risk, Ake has been keen on moving away in search of more regular minutes. He was a subject of interest from a host of Premier League clubs, but Chelsea’s appeal stood out with Champions League football on the table. And a return to Stamford Bridge appears to be imminent.
Following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively, and amid uncertainty surrounding the futures of Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso, Chelsea find themselves in somewhat of a defensive crisis.
While it may not be the most eye-catching transfer of the club’s first window under new ownership, it might be a much-needed one. Ake has proven himself in the Premier League and also has Champions League and international experience to go with it. Above all, he would be an upgrade on the likes of Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr, both of whom are talented but can be error-prone due to their inexperience.
Ake might not be the only defender Chelsea are closing in on, they are closing in on a €40 million move for Kalidou Koulibaly, who is viewed as a like-for-like replacement for Rudiger by Thomas Tuchel.