Manchester City are close to bolstering their defence with a £35million deal to sign Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Ake, according to a report.
Aymeric Laporte’s gruelling injury problems have plagued City, who failed to replace Vincent Kompany last summer.
That failure cost Pep Guardiola’s side in their bid to fend off Liverpool for the Premier League title. As such, defence has emerged as Guardiola’s top priority for new signings ahead of next season.
Indeed, one report claimed City would hand Guardiola a £150million warchest with which to add to his squad.
According to The Guardian, Ake is a top target. The newspaper claims City are nearing a deal worth £35million to bring the Netherlands international to the Etihad Stadium.
Ake moved to the south coast from Chelsea in 2017 and played every minute of the 2017/18 and 2018/19 Premier League campaigns.
And while the Cherries face imminent relegation, his side’s form has not diminished Ake’s reputation to City scouts. As such, Bournemouth are aware that the defender will depart this summer despite having two years left on his contract.
Bournemouth thought they had earned a vital point against Southampton on Sunday but VAR ruled out Callum Wilson’s last-minute equaliser.
The result left them three points adrift of safety, with 17th-placed Watford yet to play their game in hand.
Ake’s sale will likely increase speculation over John Stones’ future at City and open up an opportunity for Arsenal, the report adds.
Reports linked Arsenal with a move for the centre-back in January and TEAMtalk revealed in March that Arteta, who worked with Stones while assistant boss at the Etihad, will step up efforts to sign him this summer.
Stones has only played 15 Premier League games this season, with Guardiola often choosing to field youngster Eric Garcia instead.
CITY KEEN ON ALEXIS SANCHEZ?
Elsewhere, a report claims that City’s spending plans also include a move for Chile winger Alexis Sanchez.
The Inter Milan star is on loan at San Siro from Manchester United and his future beyond the end of the season is unclear. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly made clear the 31-year-old does not fit into his Old Trafford plans.
Guardiola tried to sign Sanchez for City in 2017 when the winger was with Arsenal.