Watford will attempt to sign Nathan Ake on a permanent basis from Chelsea this summer and could succeed for as little as £3m, according to The Mirror.
The versatile defender has impressed during his stint at Vicarage Road, making 17 Premier League starts and nailing down left-back ahead of Jose Holebas.
The Mirror reports that Hornets manager Quique Sanchez Flores wants to keep the 21-year-old and will try to bring him back on loan if Chelsea won’t sell.
But The Mirror understands that a measly £3m could be enough to persuade the Blues to part with the Dutch youngster, which should concern their fans.
Any indication that the Blues would be willing to sell Ake suggests that they have not learned lessons from their previous mistakes using the loan system.
Romelu Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne and Ryan Bertrand all pulled up trees away from Stamford Bridge and yet were never given a chance upon their return.
Now all three are among the best players in their position in the Premier League, and in positions where Chelsea could certainly do with reinforcements.
Ake could also be a good asset to whomever is in charge of next season at Chelsea, who are short of both quality and number across their defensive line.
Guus Hiddink has been forced to play Kenedy at left-back in recent weeks because of the lack of trust that he appears to have in summer signing Baba Rahman.
And a long-term injury to Kurt Zouma and uncertainty over the future of captain John Terry, as The Guardian reports, would also seem to open the door for Ake.
Based on his performances for Watford this campaign, Ake would be a better long-term investment than Rahman, and could also provide cover in central defence.
His progression into the first team, along with other academy graduates such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Bertrand Traore, could help Chelsea step into a new era.
Allowing him to leave would be another sign that Chelsea will happily abandon their own youngsters, and might prove to be another error of judgement that they regret.
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