According to The Telegraph, Manchester United are considering a move for Nathan Ake this summer.
This comes off BT Sport footage of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer speaking to Ake after United’s win over Bournemouth, which alleges the manager told him, “We need a left-footed centre-back, so keep going.”
The need for a left-footed centre-back comes in with Marcos Rojo’s impending departure. The Argentine is expected to leave United permanently this summer, although there are no firm offers on the table as yet.
Ake’s Bournemouth are on course to be relegated. They sit in 19th position and have gained just one point since the restart.
Might be an opportunity
This gives United an opportunity to sign Ake. Last summer talk of his price tag reached over-the-top levels of hype.
Fearing an approach from Leicester City with the Harry Maguire money, Bournemouth reportedly placed a £75 million price tag on Ake, Sky Sports reported. This was enough to deter his would-be suitors.
If the Cherries go down, it won’t be long before Dutch international Ake is snapped up.
A fee of £30 million, perhaps even less, might be more agreeable, considering a depreciated transfer market and financial pressure increased on Bournemouth due to relegation.
Be open minded
It is easy to look at Ake and ask why should United want to sign him, if his Bournemouth side are struggling at the wrong end of the table.
But this is about talent, not the club he plays for. By the same logic, Liverpool should not have bothered signing Virgil van Dijk from ‘lowly Southampton’.
Ake is a good defender. He is quick, he is strong in the air, and he can even play in defensive midfield. He can contribute offensively too, scoring six goals in the last two seasons also providing two assists.
This is Ake’s third season at Bournemouth and he has racked up 119 appearances, and 144 in the Premier League in total. At 25-years-old he is ready for a new challenge.
To add him to a defensive pool containing Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe could bring out the best in him.
While Bailly and Tuanzebe have durability issues, Ake has no such concerns. He has missed only six Premier League games for Bournemouth over the past three seasons.
United may not be able to offer him a starting place right away, but he will get the opportunity to fight for it. Having witnessed what United can do first hand at the weekend, how could Ake not want to be part of that?
At a reasonable price, unlike the one quoted for him last summer, Ake could become a very smart signing for United.
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