£41m fee for Ake would be a club-record sale for Bournemouth
Thursday 30 July 2020 19:47, UK
Manchester City have had a £41m offer for defender Nathan Ake accepted by Bournemouth.
Talks between the clubs over the Netherlands centre-back had begun before the end of the Premier League season, but confirmation of Bournemouth's relegation to the Championship on Sunday all but confirmed the 25-year-old would depart this summer.
Personal terms and the length of Ake's contract are yet to have been finalised, but are not expected to hinder the completion of the deal, which could be concluded before the end of the weekend.
Ake joined Bournemouth from Chelsea for a club-record fee of £20m in 2017 and had been linked with a return to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea's buy-buck clause on Ake means they still have 72 hours to match of improve on Manchester City's offer, but it is understood Frank Lampard is not interested in re-signing him.
Opt in and bet £25 or more before 23:59 on Sunday to earn a free £5. Free bets will credited by 7pm on Monday.
Despite Chelsea's lack of interest, Ake does have other options away from the Etihad, but is said to be keen to work with City boss Pep Guardiola.
City have been linked with several centre-backs since the departure of Vincent Kompany at the end of the 2018-19 season. They missed out to rivals United on Harry Maguire last summer and have consistently been linked with Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly.
Ake played 29 times in the Premier League this season for Bournemouth as Eddie Howe's side were relegated, finishing a point from safety in 18th place.
The fee, which would be a club-record sale for Bournemouth, would see them receive £40m up front, with a further £1m to come in add-ons.
Guardiola was asked about the potential signing of Ake in the January transfer window, at which point he ruled out a move but hinted he would revisit the situation this summer.
"We don't speak about that," he said in answer to a question on Ake. "We're going to finish this season with the players that we started with. If something's going to happen, it will be in the summer time."
Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher has questioned the logic behind City targeting another left-sided centre-back with Aymeric Laporte already at the club. He tweeted:
City appear to be attempting to get their business done early in a transfer window that was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, with the club close to agreeing a deal for Valencia winger Ferran Torres.
Former Man City defender Micah Richards insisted earlier this month Guardiola's side need a leader in defence to close the gap on Liverpool next season.
However, he also told Sky Sports one centre-back alone will not transform them back into champions.
"It's not as simple as getting a centre-back in," he told Sky Sports. "Fernandinho will be a year older and his legs won't be the same as this season or past seasons.
"Just buying a centre-back is not going to solve all the issues. People say Van Dijk solved Liverpool's problems, and he did to an extent, but his arrival coincided with the improvement in Trent and Robertson, and also Alisson arrived.
"But getting a centre-half would help so much in terms of consistency, and to have somebody who understands that position more to drive the team forward."
Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
"This deal is getting very close. I fully expect Nathan Ake to become a Manchester City player. As far as he's concerned, it's a no-brainer: you have either got the choice of playing in the Championship with Bournemouth or playing for one of the best clubs in the world.
"Manchester City are going to be fighting for the title next season and also the Champions League. The price is interesting - £41m. That's because he used to play for Chelsea and when they sold him to Bournemouth for £20m, they had a buy-back option inserted into the deal which meant that Chelsea could have bought him back for £40m.
"My understanding is that Chelsea passed up on that option while the other club who have been linked with him are Manchester United and that all came about when Bournemouth lost 5-2 a couple of weeks ago at Old Trafford.
"At the end of the game, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer went onto the pitch and seemed to congratulate Ake on his performance. Solskjaer quashed that talk very quickly, but personal terms at City are not going to be a problem.
"He's out of the country at the moment so he will have his medical when he returns. It's a great deal for City and it's a great deal for Bournemouth, who need money and need to cut their wage bill."
Pep Guardiola has identified Ake as someone who can strengthen Manchester City's defence, but is he the man for the job? Sky Sports' data editor Adam Smith crunches the numbers on his record at Bournemouth and examines the room for defensive improvement at the Etihad Stadium.
The summer transfer window will run for 10 weeks from July 27 and close at 11pm on October 5.
A domestic-only window for trades between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports' digital platforms, including with our dedicated Transfer Centre.