The reasons why Nathan Ake will not be joining Chelsea this summer have been revealed, with the club’s pursuit of a superstar centre-back other than Kalidou Koulibaly now assuming greater importance.
Chelsea are on the hunt for a minimum of two new centre-halves this summer. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have already left as free agents. What’s more, Cesar Azpilicueta remains on Barcelona’s radar and Fabrizio Romano reported a concrete offer will soon be lodged.
Kalidou Koulibaly looks certain to begin the defensive transformation.
Chelsea have agreed a deal with Napoli that could total £34m. The Senegalese is poised to pocket around £160,000-a-week in net salary and will sign a four-year deal with an option for a fifth.
Koulibaly has passed a medical in London and his arrival could be officially confirmed as early as today.
Man City’s Nathan Ake was also in the mix to follow Koulibaly into Stamford Bridge.
Thomas Tuchel was deemed a big admirer of the Dutchman and Man City were open to selling if their demands were met.
Ake numbers didn’t make sense
A valuation of around £40m-£45m was speculated, though per the Athletic, Chelsea were unwilling to match it.
As such, they report the proposed transfer has broken down with Ake mutually agreeing with City to remain at the Etihad.
Both the player and club are satisfied with that outcome and the turnaround will likely mean City have no need to sign a new left-sided centre-back.
Conversely, Chelsea’s need in that position will now be heightened. Rudiger had been nothing short of sensational on the left of Tuchel’s back three. The left-footed Ake would’ve taken the reins, though that avenue is now closed.
Instead, the Athletic report PSG’s Presnel Kimpembe is the man Chelsea are now turning to. Indeed, talks between Chelsea and the French side are currently underway.
Nathan Ake miss a lucky break?
Ake is rated highly by Tuchel, though has never set the world alight at the Etihad.
His chances to shine have admittedly been limited, though his performances on the training pitch have never been enough to force Pep Guardiola’s hand.
At 27, Ake is as good as he’ll ever be. In our opinion, he would’ve represented a significant downgrade on the superb Rudiger.
Kimpembe is now in Chelsea’s crosshairs and is well known to Tuchel through the German’s time managing PSG.
Crucially, the Frenchman is left-footed and per the Sun, could cost around £42m.