Man City sign Bournemouth defender Ake in £40m deal
The Netherlands international follows Spanish winger Ferran Torres to the Etihad Stadium as Pep Guardiola looks to refresh his squad.
Manchester City have completed the signing of Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake in a deal worth an initial £40 million.
Ake has signed a five-year deal and becomes Pep Guardiola's second major signing of the summer following the £21m capture of Valencia winger Ferran Torres.
The deal represents a club-record transfer fee for Bournemouth, who could receive a further £1m in add-ons for the Netherlands international.
JJA Sport Studio reported last week that the two clubs had agreed terms, and the 25-year-old has since returned from an end-of-season break to complete his medical and sign his new contract in Manchester.
Ake started his career at Chelsea, and the west London club did have a buy-back option, but it is understood that they were put off by the fee despite Frank Lampard considering him as a viable option.
“City have been the best side in England over the course of the last decade,” Ake told City's official website.
“Coming here is a dream for me. This is a top side full of world-class players. Everywhere you look in this squad there are big names with international pedigree.
“Pep is a manager admired across the world – what he’s done in the game speaks for itself. The success he’s had is unbelievable and the style of football he plays really appeals to me.
“I know I’m going to have to work hard to get into the side, but that’s what I’m here to do. I’ll do whatever I can to make an impact and help the team win silverware.”
City have been in the hunt for a new central defender since the exit of captain Vincent Kompany in June 2019. They were interested in Harry Maguire but balked at the asking price for the England international, who eventually joined Manchester United in an £80m ($97m) deal last year.
Despite Bournemouth’s relegation to the Championship, Ake’s reputation has soared since he left Stamford Bridge in 2017. As well as being a homegrown player, he has experience of playing regularly in a back-three and can also provide cover at left-back.
Without Kompany last season, City's defensive options were stretched when Aymeric Laporte missed five months of the campaign with a knee injury.
Academy product Eric Garcia has emerged as Laporte's most trusted partner in the centre of defence, but Barcelona are keen to take their former youth team player back to the Camp Nou.
John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi also face an uncertain future after their form dipped this season and could be potentially offloaded in the transfer window.
Ake may not be the only defensive signing City make this summer, with the club also looking at Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Sevilla’s Diego Carlos as they try to close the gap on Liverpool having failed to mount a Premier League title challenge in 2019-20.
Along with Torres, City have already completed deals for Juventus forward Pablo Moreno, Brazilian full-back Yan Couto from Coritiba and Burkina Faso defender Issa Kabore from Mechelen.
- Journalist at JJA Sport Studio: Football / Soccer
- Leader columnist department
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