21 July 2020 16:35

Eddie Howe A.F.C. Bournemouth Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

Man City make contact over £35 million Nathan Ake transfer

Manchester City are remaining tight-lipped over reports they are expected to sign the Dutch defender Nathan Ake from Bournemouth. The MEN revealed last week that Ake is one of five players on City's radar ahead of the summer transfer window. City have struggled defensively this season following Vincent Kompany's departure last summer and an injury to Aymeric Laporte sustained in September. John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi have struggled for form this term, with Eric Garcia emerging as Pep Guardiola's preferred partner for Laporte in recent weeks. Ruben Dias, Kalidou Koulibaly, Ferran Torres and Pau Torres are on City's shortlist and it was reported on Monday that an agreement for Ake to join City in a £35million deal is close.

However, City are remaining coy over the reports which were first published in the Guardian on Monday evening. Ake left Chelsea to join Bournemouth for £20million and retains a high reputation despite Bournemouth's likely relegation to the second tier. Why Nathan Ake is a January target for Chelsea and Manchester City Nathan Ake is a transfer target for Chelsea and Manchester City. Despite being only 24 years old, Ake has more than eight years' experience in England, having moved to Chelsea from Feyenoord in the summer of 2011. Of current Premier League defenders aged 25 or under, only Hector Bellerin and John Stones have racked up more top-flight minutes.

The Netherlands international's journey to regular football was lengthy, making only five appearances with the Blues as a defensive midfielder across three seasons after joining the senior squad in 2012. Ake underwent a positional transformation during the following campaign, making 23 appearances as a left-back on loan at Watford, along with a solitary start at centre-back. Nathan Ake in action during the NextGen Series match between Chelsea U19 and Ajax U19 in 2012 He made a loan move to Bournemouth for the start of 2016/17, where Eddie Howe primarily started him as a central defender, and returned to Chelsea for the remainder of the season during the winter window. But the Cherries signed Ake on a permanent deal in the summer of 2017 for £20m and, since then, Ake has started 91 out of 92 league games - 86 of those at centre-back. Nathan Ake primarily played as a left-back during his loan spell at Watford in 2015/16 The graph below shows his five-game average form in the Power Rankings and clearly shows the slumps at Chelsea, resulting from limited game time.

He achieved spikes in form with regular appearances during the loan periods at Watford and Bournemouth, before a three-year run of relative consistency since his permanent move to the south coast. Bournemouth's current dip in form is reflected in Nathan Ake's on numbers. He is currently producing below-average performances after a consistent run at Bournemouth The chart below shows Ake's positional development, revealing a versatility which would appeal to the likes of Pep Guardiola, who has moved defensive midfielder Fernandinho into central defence to cover the injured Aymeric Laporte. Speaking after scoring his first goal in the Premier League with Bournemouth back in 2016, Ake said: "I can't complain playing at centre-back. Nathan Ake's key positional transformations occurred as a left-back for Watford in 2015/16 and as a centre-back on loan at Bournemouth the following season It would appear the Dutchman still fancies a midfield role, having scored the winner from that position against Tottenham in May this year.

Nathan enjoyed the midfield role, it's one that is natural to him and I think he likes the idea of playing there. Eddie Howe on Nathan Ake After that game, Howe said: "Nathan enjoyed the midfield role, it's one that is natural to him and I think he likes the idea of playing there. The beauty of a player like Nathan is his versatility. Ake has also changed his passing style this term, attempting less distribution directly upfield and increasingly combining with impressive left-back Diego Rico. As a result, Ake has a 90 per cent passing accuracy in the Premier League this season, his highest in any season when he has started a game - that ranks eighth this term among defenders that have played 300 minutes or more. Despite being only 5ft 11in, Ake ranks impressively for headed clearances and has also chipped in with 11 goals during his Premier League career, of which six have been headers. Since his initial loan move in 2016, the Cherries' win percentage jumps three per cent with him in the team and they concede fewer goals, too. Chelsea want to activate a £40m buy-back clause in Ake's contract in January after the club had their transfer ban overturned on appeal, while Manchester City are also likely suitors with their current defensive issues. The Dutch international would be a solid addition to either club and offer versatility, consistency and experience at just 24 years old. Man City consider moves for Ake & Valencia star Ferran Torres Pep Guardiola is looking to refresh his options in the summer after losing out to Liverpool in the Premier League title race are considering a move for Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake, while winger Ferran Torres is also on Pep Guardiola's radar. Ake, 25, is a potential target as City look to strengthen their squad this summer, with Guardiola considering bringing in two defenders during the transfer window after losing nine Premier League games already this season. The former defender would also add cover at left-back, as well as increasing the club's homegrown quota having been brought through the Stamford Bridge academy. star Kalidou Koulibaly is another defender that the club are looking at but a potential fee of €77m (£70m/$88m) could be too high, while the centre-back is also keen to remain with the Serie A club. City are also looking for a replacement for winger Leroy Sane following his €60m (£55m/$69m) departure to, with Ferran Torres a possible replacement. Torres, 20, has one year remaining on his contract and will leave the Spanish club during the transfer window after they failed to qualify for Europe. The City manager, who will be in his fifth season with the club at the start of the new campaign, says he is looking at refreshing his squad as they look to overhaul Premier League champions Liverpool. "It depends on the players we'll have next season, it depends on the way we adapt, the way we attack and defend," he said ahead of the Premier League clash with. "Just new players can maybe come and maybe it will change the freshness of the team completely. "If you bring in eight or nine players, which is impossible, you change a lot, the mentality, the way you want to play. Manchester City have made contact with Bournemouth over the signing of Nathan Ake as the club seek to strengthen their options at centre-back this summer. The Netherlands international continues to be linked with a move to the Premier League's leading sides despite his side's struggles at the foot of the division this season, with Manchester United and former side Chelsea having also been linked with a deal to sign the defender. Bournemouth require a miracle to survive ahead of the final day of the season and Ake is highly unlikely to drop into the second tier with Eddie Howe's side, though the Cherries will demand a fee of £35m from any side interested in their prized asset. According to talkSPORT, City have emerged as the favourites to sign the 24-year-old and registered their interest in the player, Pep Guardiola desperate to add a new central defender to his squad after their defensive struggles this season. Chelsea remain interested and inserted a buy-back clause of £40m into the player's contract when he left Stamford Bridge for Bournemouth three years ago, whilst Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskajer is a known admirer of the defender and appeared to inform Ake he was looking for a left-footed defender following the Red Devils' win over Bournemouth earlier this month. City, however, are the favourites to complete a move having firmed up their interest and a deal could lead to the exit of England international John Stones, the 26-year-old having been linked with a move to Arsenal. Ranking the five fastest players to score 100 Premier League goals According to reports from The Sun, Manchester City have made the first move to sign Nathan Ake from AFC Bournemouth this summer. Pep Guardiola is looking to sign a new centre-back in the summer transfer window and has earmarked Ake as a potential option. Last week, The Times reported that Man City are targetting the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Pau Torres and Rubes Dias. However, it looks like Guardiola wants to bring in someone who is young and has loads of Premier League experience. The report claims that the Spaniard is a long-term admirer of the versatile Dutch defender who could also fill in at full-back. He was valued at £80m last summer, but Bournemouth are willing to let him go for half the value, that is £40m. The 25-year-old defender, who joined Bournemouth from Chelsea in 2017, has established himself as one of the finest defenders in the Premier League. Bournemouth currently sit second from bottom and need a miracle to avoid the drop this weekend. Ake is almost certain to leave the Cherries at the end of the season. The Guardian has also reported that Ake is close to joining City, and will become a key recruit for a fee in the region of £35m.