Leicester City eked every penny out of Manchester United when they finally allowed Harry Maguire to secure a dream move to Old Trafford over the summer.
£80 million was the fee, meaning the England international siezed the title of the most expensive defender in world football from Liverpool’s Ballon D’Or-chasing, Champions League-winning Virgil van Dijk.
Now, the Foxes could be about to find out how it feels to be on the other end of the stick. According to The Telegraph, Brendan Rodgers’ side are still interested in Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake and, despite the fine form of Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu, might just make a move to bring the Holland international to the King Power Stadium as Maguire’s long-term successor in January.
But Bournemouth know all too well that Leicester have £80 million burning a hole in their back pocket. And you can bet your bottom dollar that they are not going to let Ake, a player they bought from Chelsea for a club-record £20 million in 2017 (Guardian), leave the South Coast on the cheap.
According to The Sun (7 August, page 55), Bournemouth made it clear that they would not be accepting a dime less than £75 million when Everton came calling for Ake late in the summer window.
Eddie Howe’s side will be even less inclined to part with a star man midway through the season and if Leicester really want the dreadlocked Dutchman to fill a gap in their defence, they will have to bid farewell to most of that Maguire money.
Youri Tielemans, at £40 million (The Guardian), is currently the most expensive player in Leicester’s history. But they might have to double that if they want to convince Bournemouth for a second that selling Ake in the winter makes sense from a footballing and financial perspective.
Leicester; you’ve been warned.
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