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!
“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).
Have something to tell us about this article?