Everton have received a potential boost if they are to try and sign Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake this month, after Sky Sports reported that Chelsea are unlikely to exercise their £40m buy-back option during the January transfer window.
Well, The Telegraph reported earlier this month that the Toffees were monitoring the 24-year-old’s situation along with Premier League rivals Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, but that Frank Lampard’s men were the frontrunners due to the clause they agreed when they sold him to the Cherries in 2017.
However, Sky Sports now say that the Blues have turned their attentions to other targets this month, potentially leaving other clubs to fight for his signature before the deadline on the 31st.
The Telegraph reported at the time that other teams would likely have to bid £45m to get the Dutchman, who they say Carlo Ancelotti knows well from his time at Stamford Bridge, given Chelsea’s clause, although Eddie Howe will be unlikely to lose one of his better players as they appear to very much be in a relegation battle in the Premier League.
The Dutchman admitted during the club’s AGM on Tuesday that Everton failed to sign the centre-back they wanted in Kurt Zouma during the summer transfer window, which left them with three senior options in Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate – all of whom are right-footed.
They could certainly do with another should they pick up any injuries or suspensions now, and the fact that Ake is left-footed and would provide some balance to their backline is another huge positive.
Call yourself an Everton expert? How much did each of these January signings cost?
Brands also said at the AGM that a summer deal for Wilfried Zaha wasn’t possible because the Merseyside outfit aren’t able to spend £60m-£80m on one player. However, if they could get a 24-year-old Netherlands international who has played 134 Premier League games for around £45m in this day and age, that would have to be seen as a more sensible deal – indeed, they have spent a similar fee on two players before in Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison.
Everton should take advantage of overcoming the Chelsea hurdle and move for Ake this month so they have a player who could partner either Mina or Holgate at the heart of the defence for years to come.
Ancelotti has reportedly followed the defender’s career closely, and it would make complete sense for the duo to be reunited before February 1 if Brands can get a deal done.
In other Everton news, Marcel Brands has dropped a solid hint as to where the Toffees could strengthen next…