Manchester City are on the brink of signing Ake in a €35m move.
With the transfer window less than a week away, rumors are swirling from all over the continent. With the Premier League title already wrapped up by Liverpool, Manchester City are ready to spend big this summer after their two-year ban from Champions League football was lifted. Now, they’re ready to revamp their squad and add some much-needed depth, primarily at the back.
Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake is one of the top names on Pep Guardiola’s transfer wishlist. According to the Guardian, the Citizens are very close to signing the Dutchman for a fee of around 35 million as the club looks to strengthen their backline, especially at the center-back position.
Ake signed with the Cherries back in 2017 after departing Chelsea, who have also reignited their interest in the 25-year old. The youngster is under contract with Bournemouth until 2022, but with Eddie Howe’s side on the brink of relegation, it seems very unlikely that a player of Ake’s quality will remain with the club.
It’s no secret that Man City has struggled at times this year, losing nine times. Their attack has never been the issue; its the lack of consistency in their defense. John Stones has looked dreadful at moments this year and could be on his way out if Ake joins City.
From Nicolas Otamendi to Kyle Walker, there’s been far too much vulnerability at the back for Guardiola’s squad this term, despite bagging 97 goals, 20 more than Liverpool. They’ve conceded just 35 times this season, but they’ve had fixtures where they just collapse, which have ultimately been the difference in City losing the title race.
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City needs more than just Nathan Ake
Ake seems like the perfect addition to the squad. He’s a quick and agile defender who plays very physical and thanks to his stature, he’s very good in the air.
However, for Man City, this player alone won’t be the answer to all their defensive woes. Fernandinho continues to age and although he’s a wonderful leader, the Brazilian isn’t getting any younger. Along with Ake, Guardiola needs an established defender/defensive midfielder who can bring experience and lead by example.
Ake doesn’t necessarily have that type of reputation at this point in his career, but nonetheless he does have a lot of experience in England’s top-flight and would be a huge help in City’s quest to win another Premier League title next season.
Napoli center-back Kalidou Koulibaly has also been on the Citizens’ radar, emerging as one of the finest at his position in Europe. But, the Italian club is happy with his services and wouldn’t let him go for any cheap fee. Meanwhile, the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, and Chelsea have all shown interest in the Senegalese international as well.
Chelsea fail to activate Ake’s buy-back clause
Ake appeared as a teenager in 2012 for the Blues, eventually leaving Stamford Bridge for Bournemouth five years later. But, there was a 40 million buy-back clause placed in his contract when he left for Vitality Stadium. There was confusion as to when this clause expired, whether it was in January or this summer.
But as of now, it looks like Frank Lampard will miss out on Ake, who could have been a valuable signing in a position that Chelsea needs more help than a lot of other teams in England. But instead, the Blues will steer their focus to Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz, as they look to strengthen their attack even more after already adding Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech. With more cash available than a lot of other sides across Europe due to their transfer ban, Chelsea must identify a center-back as well, with West Ham’s Declan Rice emerging as a possible candidate.
The beginning of City’s big summer
With Ake on the verge of securing his move to the Etihad, it’s the start of what could be a very productive transfer window for Pep Guardiola. They’ve also shown interest in Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico while emerging as a favorite to sign Valencia star winger Ferran Torres. Wolves standout Adama Traore, who has burst onto the scene this term, could end up at either City or Juventus next year as well.
The next month could be quite exciting for Manchester City and their supporters as they look to get back to their title-winning ways in 2020/2021.