Manchester City Join Nathan Aké Race But Chelsea Remain in Pole Position

​Manchester City are ready to rival Chelsea to sign Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Aké in January, although the Blues are still thought to be leading the race for his signature.

Both sides have struggled greatly in defence this season. City lost Aymeric Laporte to a serious injury early in the campaign, while Chelsea have looked shaky at the back since Frank Lampard’s arrival.

Nathan Ake

To try and solve their problem, ​Chelsea have been linked with a January move for ​Aké, but ​Sky Sports News state that ​City are ready to go head-to-head for his signature as they see him as the kind of player who can make a real long-term difference to their side.

Pep Guardiola is reluctant to make any panic buys during the January window and instead only wants players who can help the club for many years, and 24-year-old Aké is seen as the ideal candidate.

​Bournemouth valued him at closer to £70m during the summer, but Chelsea are understood to have inserted a buy-back clause when they sold him to the Cherries which would allow them to sign him for just £40m.

After breaking through from the Chelsea academy, Aké managed 17 appearances for the Blues before being shipped off to Bournemouth on loan in 2016. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength, prompting Eddie Howe to sign him permanently the following summer.

Chelsea scouting guru Piet de Visser previously told De Volkskrant about his wish to see Aké return to the club, and the veteran scout’s opinion is held in very high regard around Stamford Bridge, so owner Roman Abramovich will likely have listened to what De Visser had to say.

Nathan Ake

Comfortable both centrally and on the left, Aké would be able to fill a number of voids for Chelsea, who have been crying out for some real reinforcements in defence this season.

City certainly do have the money to rival any bid for the 24-year-old, but Chelsea’s buy-back clause easily gives them the upper hand in the race for his signature.

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