According to reports in The Sun, Chelsea defender Nathan Ake is close to completing a move to Bournemouth that is worth more than £20m.
Well, the 22-year-old spent the first half of last season on loan with the Cherries, but he was recalled by Blues boss Antonio Conte during the January transfer window to provide defensive cover in the second half of the campaign.
The Sun report says that Eddie Howe had wanted to bring former Chelsea captain John Terry to the south coast outfit, but he has turned his attentions to Ake after missing out on the 36-year-old.
Conte is happy to let the Dutchman leave Stamford Bridge as he targets deals for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk and Juventus duo Leonardo Bonucci and Alex Sandro, which would provide even more strength in depth in the centre-back and left wing-back positions.
Having impressed for Bournemouth in 12 appearances – with the majority of those at centre-back – Ake would have been hopeful that he would get a number of first team opportunities in the second half of the season.
It failed to be the case though as the three-man defence of Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill and David Luiz stayed strong as the Blues won the Premier League title, and the 22-year-old featured on just five occasions with his only top flight start coming against Watford in the penultimate fixture.
Rather than showing he had a future at Stamford Bridge under Conte, it showed that it was perhaps time to leave for regular first team football.
It probably is, yes.
Considering they have Cahill, Azpilicueta and Luiz – plus Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma in reserve – and are targeting Van Dijk and/or Bonucci, Conte has more than enough cover for his central defenders and Ake’s game time would have been severely restricted next term.
He certainly will be.
The 22-year-old showed glimpses of how good he can be during his spell with the Cherries last season and Howe will be excited to bring him back on a permanent deal.