'Top player': Captain praying for team-mate to stay amid Everton and Spurs links

Tottenham Hotspur Manager Jose Mourinho during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Tottenham Hotspur and Olympiacos FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on November 26, 2019 in...

Premier League quartet Spurs, Everton, Chelsea and Manchester City are all sniffing around Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Ake.

Nathan Ake of AFC Bournemouth during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at Vitality Stadium on December 7, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.

Nathan Ake has been linked with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Everton recently but Bournemouth defender Simon Francis is desperate to see his coveted team-mate remain at the Vitality Stadium, speaking to The Mirror (19 December, page 60).

It has been a difficult season for Eddie Howe’s Cherries and speculation linking a Dutch international centre-back with a big-money January switch is far from welcome.

According to Sky, Everton and Tottenham think Ake is a superstar-in-waiting with Manchester City, whose lack of depth at centre-back has been the subject of much debate, sniffing around too.

 

And Francis, who has witnessed Ake’s excellent reading of the game and superb passing range first hand in Bournemouth’s backline, is already counting down the days until February begins.

“Don’t get me wrong, if top teams come in for him, and they’re probably going to be looking at him because of how good he’s been, it’s a station that he’s going to have to assess himself,” said the long-serving skipper of a defender currently out of action for six weeks.

“Hopefully his injury might go into January and no one will come in for him. No, I’m joking!

Nathan Ake of Bournemouth celebrates after he scores to make it 1-0 with team mates Charlie Daniels, Marc Pugh and Simon Francis of Bournemouth during the Premier League match between AFC....

“We’d love to see Nath stay. I see him being a top player for us for years to come and I think he will only improve at a football club like us.”

Tottenham are set to lose Jan Vertonghen for free at the end of the season but how Ake feels about a reunion with Jose Mourinho remains to be seen. The former Chelsea youngster slammed the Portuguese tactician for freezing him out of the first-team picture at Stamford Bridge (Telegraph).

Everton, meanwhile, would love to bring in a proven Premier League defender who, on paper, looks like a substantial upgrade on the always unconvincing Michael Keane and Yerry Mina.

Chelsea hold all the cards, however, as they have a £40 million buyback clause in Ake’s contract. This means they could sign the rising star for a fraction of his reported £75 million price-tag (Sun).

Nathan Ake of Bournemouth and Moussa Sissoko of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and AFC Bournemouth  at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on November 30,...

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