Netherlands international Nathan Ake is attracting interest from a host of clubs including Premier League heavyweights Chelsea and Manchester United.
According to a report from Daily Star, Chelsea and Manchester United are set to battle it out for the signing of AFC Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Ake in the upcoming summer transfer window.
The 24-year-old Ake came through the youth ranks at Chelsea, having joined the London outfit from Feyenoord back in 2011. Held in high regard throughout his academy days, the defender did not get a host of opportunities to make an impression in the first-team. Instead, it was at his loan spells at Watford (2015-16) and Bournemouth (summer 2016-January 2017), that Ake made his name at.
Having made a solid impression during his six-month stint at the Vitality Stadium, Ake was snapped up by the Cherries on a permanent deal in the summer of 2017. Since rejoining Eddie Howe’s side, the 24-year-old hasn’t missed a single Premier League game, contributing with 5 goals and 4 assists in 69 matches.
Ake’s journey to becoming one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League over the past two seasons hasn’t gone unnoticed, with former club Chelsea reported to be eyeing a move to take him back to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
The Blues will be losing captain Gary Cahill at the end of the season when his contract runs out, while mainstay David Luiz is also in the final few months of his deal, with no renewal signed yet. This would leave Chelsea short on numbers at the back, leading to their interest in the Dutchman.
However, Chelsea are not alone in pursuing the 24-year-old Ake, with arch-rivals Manchester United also believed to be in the hunt, as per the report from Daily Star. The Red Devils are seeking defensive reinforcements, with the current options, barring Victor Lindelof, failing to take their chances this season.
A number of names have been linked with a switch to Old Trafford – Tottenham Hotspur’s Toby Alderweireld being the most recent one. And now, Ake too seems to have emerged as a potential target for Manchester United.
Along with Chelsea and Manchester United, Serie A heavyweights Napoli are also being linked with a move for Ake, with the Partenopei monitoring the Netherlands international since last summer. Tottenham Hotspur are credited with an interest as well and could make a move, should Alderweireld leave the club ahead of the next season, the report adds.
Chelsea reportedly have a £40 million buyback option for Ake, but the report adds that the 24-year-old is reluctant to move back to the West London outfit as he would once again be a back-up option rather than being a regular starter. This gives the other suitors an edge over the Blues in the chase for the talented centre-back.
Ake’s contract with Bournemouth runs out in 2022, but given the amount of interest he is generating from big clubs, the Cherries might find it hard to hold him down at the club for long. It remains to be seen, however, if Chelsea or Manchester United are able to land the Dutchman or if Napoli beat them to his signature.