Ake close to £41m move as City spree gath­ers pace

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Football - By John Percy

Nathan Ake is close to be­com­ing the first de­par­ture from rel­e­gated Bournemout­h, af­ter Manch­ester City tabled an im­proved of­fer of £41 mil­lion.

Pep Guardi­ola has moved for the for­mer Chelsea de­fender and wants to fol­low the cap­ture of Va­len­cia winger Fer­ran Tor­res with Ake in the next few days.

Guardi­ola has pri­ori­tised the sign­ing of at least one cen­tral de­fender and be­lieves Ake can be­come a key squad player.

Bournemout­h’s rel­e­ga­tion was con­firmed last week­end and Ake was always go­ing to emerge as one of the first ca­su­al­ties. The Hol­land in­ter­na­tional does not have a rel­e­ga­tion clause in his con­tract and City are in the fi­nal stages of ne­go­ti­a­tions with Bournemout­h.

It is un­der­stood the lat­est of­fer for the 25-year-old was sub­mit­ted on Wed­nes­day and the clubs are edg­ing closer to a res­o­lu­tion.

Chelsea, his first club in England, have a buy-back op­tion to re-sign him for £40 mil­lion, but the deal from City is an ini­tial £40mil­lion with a £1mil­lion bonus to be payable on achieve­ments.

Manch­ester United have also been linked with Ake, who missed the fi­nal games of Bournemout­h’s sea­son with a mus­cle in­jury. Ake was one of the club’s out­stand­ing play­ers and he is be­ing of­fered a swift re­turn to the Premier League, with the added in­cen­tive of Euro­pean foot­ball. He is on hol­i­day and ex­pected to un­dergo a med­i­cal over the week­end, when the for­mal­i­ties of his move to Manch­ester are likely to be com­pleted.

Guardi­ola is also poised to com­plete the sign­ing of Tor­res af­ter the sale of Leroy Sane to Bay­ern Mu­nich.

City last night dis­missed re­ports in Der Spiegel, the Ger­man mag­a­zine, claim­ing it had fresh ev­i­dence over the re­cent financial fair play case. City said it was a “cyn­i­cal at­tempt to pub­licly re­lit­i­gate”.

Wanted man: Nathan Ake is ex­pected to be­come the first player to leave Bournemout­h af­ter they were rel­e­gated on Sun­day

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