Chelsea are reportedly keen on taking Nathan Ake back to Stamford Bridge from Bournemouth, and could land him for much less than his touted valuation.
The 24-year-old came through the youth ranks at Chelsea after joining the club in 2011, but he was limited to just 17 appearances for the senior side having been sent out on a string of loan deals.
Ultimately, his stint at Stamford Bridge ended in 2017 after he sealed a permanent move to Bournemouth, where he has established himself as a first-team regular and has made 75 appearances over the past two seasons under Eddie Howe.
It appears as though his impressive form and improvement has caught the eye of his former club, as The Telegraph report that Chelsea could make a move for him and are able to sign him for £40m as part of their agreement with Bournemouth.
It’s added that Ake was given a £75m price-tag this summer as Leicester City were linked with a swoop for the Dutch international to replace Harry Maguire, and so it would represent somewhat of a bargain for the Blues if they could land him for such a reduced price.
Nevertheless, it all hinges on their ability to successfully appeal against their transfer ban which will currently prevent them from making any signings in January, and so time will tell if they have the freedom to bolster their squad in the New Year.
If they do receive the green light, then Ake could be a sensible addition to Frank Lampard’s squad, bearing in mind David Luiz’s exit this week to join Arsenal.
That leaves Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma as Lampard’s top options in defence, along with youngster Fikayo Tomori, but whether that’s enough to compete on multiple fronts at the highest level is up for debate.
That in turn is where Ake could come in, especially if Chelsea are able to take advantage of their agreement and land him for a significantly lower price that what Bournemouth are demanding from other clubs.
It seems the Blues are making plans to make moves as soon as their transfer ban comes to an end, with The Sun reporting this week that they are ready to bid £80m to try and prise Wilfried Zaha away from Crystal Palace.
In turn, Lampard could see up to £120m spent on strengthening his squad either in January or next summer on two players who have impressed in the Premier League and are perhaps ready for another chance to prove their quality at the highest level.