Chelsea are reportedly looking to bring Dutch international Nathan Ake back to the club from Bournemouth and have received a boost in their pursuit of the defender.

As per a report from the Daily Mirror, Chelsea are planning on re-signing former academy star Nathan Ake from fellow Premier League side Bournemouth, and have been handed a major boost in their chase of the Dutchman.

The Blues are in the market for a new central defender ahead of the next season, as club captain and seasoned campaigner Gary Cahill is expected to depart from the Stamford Bridge in the coming days. The 33-year-old has hardly featured under Maurizio Sarri this season and is keen to leave in search of regular first-team football.

Chelsea have Ethan Ampadu and Andreas Christensen to provide cover for the first-choice pairing of David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger, while stand-in captain Cesar Azpilicueta can also fill in at centre-half should the need arise. But the club are intent on bringing in another defender, most likely in the summer, with the January transfer deadline only three days away.

And former academy graduate Ake has emerged as a potential target for the West Londoners. The Dutchman was on Chelsea’s books between 2011 and 2017, having arrived from ADO Den Haag. But, he only managed to make 17 first-team appearances before securing a move away to Bournemouth eighteen months ago in a £20 million deal.

Headed back to Chelsea? (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

Headed back to Chelsea? (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

Since joining the Cherries, the 23-year-old has established himself as one of the most promising young defenders in the Premier League. Ake won Bournemouth’s Player of the Year award in his debut season at the Vitality Stadium and has been ever-present in the ongoing term as well, starting each of their Premier League matches.

Ake’s rise to prominence with the Cherries hasn’t gone unnoticed, with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur also believed to keeping tabs on the Netherlands international. However, Chelsea have the edge over their rivals as they have the option of first refusal and are reportedly willing to bid £40 million to take back the defender.

And their hopes of signing Ake have been boosted by the fact that Bournemouth completed the signing of Chris Mepham from Championship outfit Brentford recently. Cherries boss Eddie Howe wants to be prepared in case any of the big clubs decide to swoop in for Ake and has shelled out £12 million on the 21-year-old Mepham.

Ake’s contract with Bournemouth runs till the summer of 2022, but the fact that the Cherries are strengthening their backline indicates that they are resigned to lose him in the near future. A return to Chelsea, where it all began for him, could very well be on the cards.

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