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Manchester City are willing to sanction a sale for Nathan Ake this summer, according to a new report.
The Dutchman endured an injury-ridden 2020/21 campaign following his arrival from Bournemouth, deeming his first season in the north-west as a slight disappointment.
However, the 27-year-old silenced a lot of his critics by becoming a fan favourite in his second year in Manchester.
With injuries no longer being a major worry for Ake in the 2021/22 campaign, his admirable versatility proved to be a major asset for Pep Guardiola in times of personnel crisis in defence for City.
Deputising impressively across the backline at crucial stages of the past season, the Netherlands international proved decisive for the Premier League champions - against Arsenal and Atletico Madrid as two standout examples.
Ake was subject to interest from Newcastle boss Eddie Howe - who worked with the defender during his time at Bournemouth - only for the centre-back to seemingly confirm he was set to stay put at City into next season.
However, the past few weeks have seen Chelsea enter the race to sign Nathan Ake and make the Manchester City man a key target in defence as part of their summer rebuild under the west London club's new ownership.
Chelsea are understood to be keen on bringing Ake back to Stamford Bridge after Antonio Rudiger left for Real Madrid, with Andreas Christensen also set to be announced as a Barcelona player in the near future.
Newcastle United and West Ham have also been linked with Ake, who has three years remaining on his current contract at the Etihad Stadium.
However, despite the length of time remaining on Ake's existing deal, a new report has suggested Manchester City would be willing to sell Nathan Ake ahead of the new campaign.
As per a report by Football Insider, the Premier League champions have told Nathan Ake he can find a new club this summer.
A source close to the Etihad Stadium has revealed however, that City will only be open to selling him for the right price and only after the club have signed a direct replacement.
It is believed City would be content at recouping the £41 million they initially paid to acquire his services in 2020.
Furthermore, the two clubs that seem the closest to landing Ake's signature at present are Chelsea and Newcastle.
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe is said to be a big admirer of his former colleague and would like Ake to join forces with him at St. James' Park.
However, it seems likelier that Chelsea could sign the Dutch international in their desperate need of defensive reinforcements to mount a genuine challenge for the Premier League next season.
At the Etihad Stadium, Nathan Ake remains fourth-choice in the defence, behind Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones, though he has shown he can operate at left-back and in midfield.
Considering Ake is in the prime of his career and remains in and out of the Netherlands National Team ahead of the World Cup in Qatar later this year, it makes sense why the defender could seek an exit this summer.
Manchester City have recently been linked with Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt and it is likely that speculation around other centre-back options will grow should Ake decide to leave after two seasons in the north-west.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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