Manchester City are beginning their pursuit to get their Premier League title back.
After back-to-back title winning campaigns, City were completely outclassed by Liverpool this season as the Anfield side romped to their 19th league title in record time.
According to The Athletic, Pep Guardiola has shown interest in Bournemouth’s Holland international Nathan Ake and initial discussions have taken place about a move. Ake signed for Bournemouth permanently back in 2017 following a loan move, and there are reports that Chelsea inserted a buy-back clause in the deal at the time. While it’s unknown whether that clause is still active, Chelsea have also kept an eye on the 25 year old.
City of course didn’t replace Vincent Kompany when the club legend left last summer, instead deciding to move Fernandinho back into defence and using Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan as the holding midfielders.
It’s a move the club feel could have cost them, hence the priority of a new defender this summer. Ake isn’t the only one on the shortlist though, with City also showing an interest in Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Dortmund’s Dan-Axel Zagadou and Shakhtar’s Maykola Matviyenko. While the top name on the list isn’t quite clear at the moment, a deal for Ake seems the most easy to do.
Bournemouth are currently in the relegation zone on goal difference and have lost both of their games since the restart. Ake currently has two years left on his contract and with the seaside club’s future far from secure, it’s highly likely he leaves whether they get relegated or not.
While he’s obviously not the best defender available on the market, Ake would definitely suit Manchester City. Able to play across the back four and even in midfield, his versatility is something that Guardiola will be a fan of, while his ball playing ability clearly fits in with the Cityzens style of football.
A good aerial threat, an impressive athlete and excellent reading of the game, Ake’s football education is definitely an advocate for the loan system. He’s a full international for Holland and was a regular in defence before the emergence of Matthijs De Ligt as a partner for Virgil Van Dijk.
If Ake was to join, I expect he wouldn’t be the only defender to join City this summer. While they look to replace Vincent Kompany, I also think they could look to move John Stones on this summer. The England international has struggled with injuries and I think Pep may have run out of patience with him. If they can get a suitable offer I think he’ll be allowed to leave, which means Pep will go all out for a bigger name on his defensive recruits list.