Manchester United could turn their attention to Manchester City’s Nathan Ake if they fail to land their top defensive targets this window.
According to The Sun, Manchester United might be interested in bringing Nathan Ake to Old Trafford if they fail to land their top central defensive targets. The Red Devils enter the transfer market with a list of marquee centre-halves, although they remain open to exploring the possibility of signing the Manchester City defender.
It is a well-known fact that Manchester United need a top-quality central defender. An even more open secret is their admiration for Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane, with the Frenchman himself seeking a new challenge this summer. However, signing Varane might not be simple, with Los Blancos demanding £70 million.
Additionally, Villareal’s Pau Torres also features on Manchester United’s list of defensive targets. However, if the Premier League heavyweights fail in their pursuit any of their top targets, they might turn their attention elsewhere.
Among those names mentioned is one Nathan Ake, who plays for cross-city rivals Manchester City. Ake has been one of the Premier League’s sought-after defenders since his breakthrough season with Bournemouth. His performances prompted City to spend £40 million on him last summer.
For Ake, though, things have not gone as per plans because of a lack of playing time. The Dutchman featured nine times in Manchester City’s starting eleven this past season in addition to another appearance from the bench. He was also sporadically used in their UEFA Champions League run to the final, featuring just twice all season.
Ake has, thus far, cut a frustrating figure at the Etihad, and this might indicate his need to move elsewhere for regular action. Currently playing at UEFA Euro 2020 with Netherlands, he might decide on his future after the tournament, based on the offers he has then.
At Manchester City, he has John Stones, Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte in front of him. However, if reports of Laporte’s links with Barcelona are accurate, then Ake might fancy his chances of featuring slightly more regularly than the previous season. That in particular will become more transparent over the next few weeks in the window.
As for Manchester United, Ake might represent quite a coup; for one, he is experienced in the Premier League and fits the profile for a long-term partner for Harry Maguire. Ake might be seen as a viable alternative to Varane or Torres, and there are suggestions Ole Gunnar Solskjaer likes Ake a lot.
If their interest is concrete, the challenge for Manchester United would be to convince City for sale. Manchester City, though, are expected to be reluctant to part with their defender, especially if he is heading to Manchester United, considering their rivalry in the league and possibly in the title race next season.