Chelsea Consider Rival Defender If Matthijs de Ligt Unavailable

Nathan Ake
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In his latest report for CaughtOffside, Fabrizio Romano expanded on Chelsea’s chase for new defenders. In the piece, Romano reiterates that Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt is the priority of the club right now and that Jules Kounde has always been a top target, despite recent inactivity on that deal. What will perk up some eyes is that the London side are considering a move for Manchester City defender Nathan Ake if the move for De Ligt cannot be completed, with the Dutch defender close to signing a contract renewal with his Italian club. German boss Thomas Tuchel is reportedly very high on the former Chelsea man.

Chelsea Could Make A Move for Nathan Ake

Reunion

Ake first came to prominence as a member of Chelsea’s youth academy and was a member of the senior team from 2012 until 2017. Despite impressing on loan spells and showing a useful versatility, the Dutchman was sold to Bournemouth in 2017 after making just 17 appearances in his five years in London.

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The Blues have a penchant for selling promising players only to be linked with big moves for them years later, Thorgan Hazard and Romelu Lukaku come to mind as recent examples, with Tammy Abraham potentially joining that fray next summer when his buy-back clause activates.

Premier League Quality

While De Ligt is certainly an impressive player there is one advantage that his fellow countryman Ake has, and that is the Manchester City man is a proven commodity at Premier League level.

In three seasons with the Cherries, the 27-year-old made over 100 appearances for the club, even winning the Supporters Player of the Year award in the 2017/18 season. He was then picked up by Manchester City for a reported £41 million in 2020 where he has been an effective depth option for the club, making 40 appearances in two seasons with the Manchester side.

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Despite his quality, Ake isn’t an essential member of the Citizens’ squad and could be available to his former club at a good price.