AFC Bournemouth and Netherlands defender Nathan Ake was set to be the main focus of this January transfer window, but so far, things have remained fairly quiet surrounding the 24-year-old.
Whether that is solely down to him being sidelined with a hamstring injury, or whether the transfer dominos were waiting for Chelsea to make their move isn’t entirely clear.
The Cherries signed Ake from Chelsea for £20million in June 2017, setting a then-new club-record for a fee paid for a player.
At the time it was rumoured that Chelsea had inserted a buy-back clause into the deal, that has since been confirmed by those in the media, with it now widely reported that this is the final transfer window that Chelsea can take advantage of that agreement, with the reported price of £40million.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, however, has played down Chelsea’s interest in Ake.
Lampard on Nathan Ake £40m buy-back clause and future: "I don't know how clever it is. It is what it is. Nathan came through here and when he came to Bournemouth he has done fantastically well. He is a Premier League player. The defence we have here I am very happy with." #CFC
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) December 13, 2019
Unfortunately for AFC Bournemouth, it’s not about just fending off Chelsea’s advances, but other big clubs in the Premier League as well.
In the past Manchester City have also had a reported interest, but the latest club to be linked is Arsenal.
That report came via the Telegraph earlier this month.
The newspaper claimed that “Arsenal are set to join the January tug-of-war for Nathan Ake that could involve as many as five Premier League clubs”.
Arsenal have recently lost Calum Chambers for the next nine months after he suffered an ACL injury.
The report added…
“Everton head coach Carlo Ancelotti knows Ake well from his time in charge at Chelsea and has followed the Dutchman’s career, while, despite the claims of Guardiola and Jose Mourinho that they do not need players in January, City and Spurs are looking at a variety of defenders.”
Which presumably means that the five interested parties are Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, who have all been linked with Ake at some stage over the past twelve months.
As of this past Friday, AFC Bournemouth have received no bids for any of their players, according to manager Eddie Howe.
He told the Daily Echo…
“No, no bids for any of our players.”
Asked on the idea of some players wanting a move away from Dean Court he added…
“I’d certainly hope not, not with the position we are in.
“It’s not a time for that, it’s a time for everyone to unite together. To be totally focused on achieving our goals and our aims.
“It’s a really difficult window to recruit but also to sell any of your top players – the ones that make the difference, the ones that are part of your plans.
“It’s an absolute no-no as far as I’m concerned if we are to achieve our objective.”
Nobody can force Ake to sign for Chelsea. All a buyback clause means is that we have to accept the bid from Chelsea at that fixed price, not that Ake has to sign for them. They could be the only club to bid for him and he could still turn it down.
Alternatively, they could bid at £40 million and Arsenal also bid at a level we find acceptable, say at £50 million, and it’s then up to him to decide which move he preferred.
Or Chelsea could choose just to not get involved at all and he just goes to the other club. All the buyout does is give Chelsea an option to make an offer that has to be accepted at a fixed price. Everything else about the transfer beyond that is normal.
There are then some complications on what that acceptable price other clubs would have to pay in order to stop them trying to pull a fast one in cooperation with Chelsea. So he is probably available at under true market price at the moment. The Telegraph suggested £45 million to other clubs but I’d hope we could push that a little further. – Join the conversation, click here.