Man United and Tottenham Reportedly Track Nathan Ake Amid Chelsea Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2018

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25:  Nathan Ake of AFC Bournemouth celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Everton FC at Vitality Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly interested in signing Nathan Ake from Bournemouth, although it's added they would potentially have to wait on a decision from Chelsea before successfully signing the Dutchman. 

According to Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph, both the Red Devils and Spurs are said to have been impressed by Ake early in the campaign and will continue keeping tabs on him for the rest of the 2018-19 term.

However, it's reported there is a "gentleman's agreement" between Chelsea and Bournemouth following the player's move to the Vitality Stadium in 2017 that the Stamford Bridge side would be able to bring Ake back to the club for £40 million. 

"There has not yet been any sign that Chelsea are ready to try to take Ake back to Stamford Bridge and any move to re-sign him would have to be agreed by the player," said Law. "But a summer bid from either Spurs or United would force Bournemouth to offer Chelsea the opportunity to make a move and leave the other two clubs sweating."

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 15: Nathan Ake of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Watford at Stamford Bridge on May 15, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

It's added that the Blues have similar agreements in place with other players who left the club in the same summer, including Lyon's Bertrand Traore and Watford's Nathaniel Chalobah.

While Bournemouth supporters wouldn't have worried too much about losing the 23-year-old for £40 million at the time of the transfer, the inflation in the market and the performances of Ake may have them concerned going into the summer window.

He has been crucial to Bournemouth's bright start to the season, providing a rock-solid presence at the base of the team:

Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto

🍾 Man of the Match: @afcbournemouth’s Nathan Ake 🍒🍒🍒 Most: Clearances ✅ 🚮 Touches ✅👌 Passes ✅🎟 Joint-most: Blocks ✅⛔️ Shots ✅🎯 Won 100% of aerial duels 🍾 https://t.co/nY7jfwUrVO

Ake has sharp defensive instincts, enjoys a physical battle and is rarely bullied when it comes to aerial duels either. In addition, he's a technical footballer, offering a composed presence in the middle of defence and as a left-sided player, brings vital balance to the team too.

Those qualities make it understandable that some of the biggest teams in the Premier League would be interested in Ake. 

United, in particular, have big issues in defence, and manager Jose Mourinho has made some curious selections in that area: 

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

Emerged in the summer Mourinho was prepared to play midfielders in defence if he didn't get Alderweireld or Maguire. Everyone expected Matic to be in the back three vs Spurs but it was Herrera, so could be Matic back there today rather than McTominay. Big blow for Bailly. #mufc

According to Law it is still anticipated that Toby Alderweireld will leave Spurs soon, meaning they may be on the lookout for another centre-back. Chelsea, meanwhile, are said to have question marks over the long-term futures of David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen.

Even so, having struggled to get a game with the Blues in the past and blossomed during his time at Bournemouth, perhaps Ake would think twice about making another move any time soon.