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Man City step up interest in Bournemouth’s Ake

Manchester City’s interest in Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake has intensified, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic.

Having won the Premier League title last season and then seen captain Vincent Kompany depart, Pep Guardiola apparently didn’t see it necessary to boost his options in the heart of defence last summer. It has proven costly, with the long injury absence of Aymeric Laporte and minor but frequent niggles suffered by John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi, widely perceived as the main reason of City’s spectacular failure to defend the title from the onrush of Liverpool.

It seems Guardiola acknowledged the problem ahead of the January transfer window and Ake came into their consideration then, though no move was made. However, City have now started looking at the 25-year-old more seriously as they prepare to avoid having the same problems next season. Early discussions over a potential deal have already taken place.

There is, however, an issue here which involves Ake’s former club Chelsea. When the Dutch international left Stamford Bridge for the Vitality permanently in 2017, a buyback clause was inserted into the deal, though there is now some confusion over its validity.

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