Chelsea could be set to allow another defender to follow John Terry out of the Stamford Bridge door as The Sun say that Antonio Conte is ready to sanction the sale of Nathan Ake to Bournemouth for £20 million.
The Dutch international spent the first half of last season on loan at Dean Court and was impressive, but was recalled in January and failed to play a part for the Blues.
What will he bring to Eddie Howe’s side?
Depth in defence is almost priceless for Howe at the moment. His side really missed the presence of Ake in the second part of last season and will be desperate to add quality and youth to their defence.
Ake was also a vital threat at set pieces, scoring two important goals. That shows just how important the addition of Ake could be, and as a name that the club already know well, he would be trusted more than a potential foreign import.
However, there may be a fear that he could replicate the form of Jordon Ibe – signed from Liverpool last summer as a young player with huge potential, but has failed to live up to expectations.
Would £20 million be a fair deal?
For Chelsea, yes. The deal is likely to include a number of clauses and sell-on fees which could mean that the final fee is an even higher price. Antonio Conte clearly did not feel that Ake had what it took to compete for a regular starting place last season and is only likely to add to his squad to strengthen the defence in the coming weeks.
As such, it’s hard to see how Ake would have had any role to play at Stamford Bridge and another loan deal would have been likely if there were no permanent approaches.
For Bournemouth, it is a huge chunk of their transfer budget. However, defence was one of their weak point last season and they were desperate for more strength in depth in the back four after Ake was recalled in January.
A sound investment, it does seem likely that Ake will continue to improve and could be worth even more in a few years time. Chelsea have been guilty of selling a number of players prematurely, with two of the Premier League’s best springing to mind, in Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, and they will be hoping that this happens again with Ake.
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