Merson explains why Chelsea, Man Utd dodged Ake transfer bullet 

Date published: Saturday 8th August 2020 4:37 - Steve Pearson

Paul Merson TEAMtalk

Paul Merson believes Chelsea and Man Utd were wise to avoid acting on interest in new Man City centre-half Nathan Ake.

The Dutchman, 25, signed on the dotted line from Bournemouth for a fee worth £41m.

Chelsea retained the option to trigger a buy-back clause in Ake’s contract after his departure in 2017. However, The Blues opted not to walk that avenue despite apparent defensive frailties.

Likewise, Man Utd had registered their interest, but also chose not to pursue a move.

That left the door ajar for City, but Merson believes Ake is not the right choice to propel them back to the league’s summit.

Writing in his column for The Daily Star, the ex-Arsenal legend said: “Nathan Ake going to Manchester City has shocked me.

“Bournemouth got relegated and they let in about a million goals.

“I don’t think Ake really stood out as anything special there either. Chelsea had an option to bring him back to Stamford Bridge and never took it, even though they need centre backs.

“That suggests to me they think something is missing in his game. He might not be as good a fit at City as some people think.


“City are not the biggest team in the world. They struggle to defend set pieces at times, and Ake isn’t going to help them there.

“You never really saw him trying to get players going or show much leadership at Bournemouth either.

“It was poor organisation at the back that cost them so many points, and that’s not only Eddie Howe’s fault.

“Defending is City’s Achilles heel and until they get that area sorted out they will struggle to challenge Liverpool.

“They still need another top-drawer centre back.”


Havertz’s Chelsea move in ‘a matter of days’

Chelsea Havertz TEAMtalk

Meanwhile, Chelsea will reportedly clinch the club-record signing of Kai Havertz next week – but the transfer comes with a fresh warning from Rudi Voller.

The Blues have been one of the most active players in the transfer window thus far.

The arrivals of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner have set pulses racing, but the headline attraction may yet still emerge.

Bayer Leverkusen playmaker Havertz has been identified as the man to pull the strings in the Chelsea attack.

The club were described as being ‘incredibly confident’ of being able to seal the deal recently. That’s after a familiar obstacle with Geman players now appears to be out of the way.

Any deal for the player will be on hold until after Bayer Leverkusen’s Europa League campaign comes to an end.

But with Inter Milan lying in wait on Monday, Fabrizio Romano claims that could result in his transfer going through a matter of days after.

Read the full story here.


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