Eddie Howe Comments on Manchester United, Spurs Reported Interest in Nathan Ake

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2018

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Nathan Ake of Bournemouth during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Cardiff City at Vitality Stadium on August 11, 2018 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has said there have been no bids received from Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspur for prized defender Nathan Ake. 

Speaking to Sky Sports (h/t Metro), Howe said neither the Red Devils nor Lilywhites have made any concrete moves for the former Chelsea centre-back after reported interest.

Howe said on Friday:

"I think that's a compliment to Nathan and how he's played since he signed for us permanently.

"He's been a model of consistency. He picked up all the player awards that he did at the end of last season and he's carried that form into this [season].

"With any type of speculation that you are linked with, the clubs he's been mentioned with, it's a good sign. However, that doesn't mean we're about to lose him. He's a massive part of what we're doing."

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 16: Romelu Lukaku and Nathan Ake fight for the ball during the International Friendly match between Belgium and The Netherlands on October 16, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Vincent Van Doornick/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Im
MB Media/Getty Images

Per Sky Sports, Howe added "[there has been] nothing from our side, where it comes from I don't know," as he declared he expects further interest in his best players at the Vitality Stadium.

Alex Crook of the Daily Star reported United manager Jose Mourinho is willing to part with £40 million for the Netherlands international, as Ake's stock grows in the Premier League.

United have suffered at the back this season, with Mourinho unable to find a quality partnership in central defence from his existing squad.

The Special One failed to sign any of his centre-back targets last summer, and there's a clear need to recruit a dynamic defender in January.

The Old Trafford giants visit Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, and a negative scoreline and performance will pile the pressure on Mourinho's tenure.

Bournemouth's Dutch defender Nathan Ake (top) vies to header the ball with Watford's English striker Andre Gray during the English Premier League football match between Watford and Bournemouth at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north of London on Octobe
IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Ake recently addressed the latest speculation about his career but admitted he will not pay much attention to it at present.

Speaking to Dutch outlet FootballOranje.com (h/t Metro), Ake said: "I've seen it pass by but of course it's rumours. At the moment I play at Bournemouth and that is going well, so I focus on that."

Ake is one of English football's brightest defensive talents, and his time with the Cherries has seen him develop into a well-rounded defender.

The 23-year-old has the technical ability to play in several defensive positions, and he also carries a goal threat from set pieces.

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho gestures during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 6, 2018. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RES
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

The Dutchman would be a good addition for United in January, but Mourinho would have to sell a centre-back to compensate, with several players ready for the chop if the club step up their recruitment drive.

The futures of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo and Victor Lindelof could all lie elsewhere, as United revamp the skeleton of their limp back line.

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