Chelsea agree fee with Man City for Ake as £77m centre-back pair edge closer

Will Ford
Manchester City defender Nathan Ake

Chelsea have reportedly agreed a £45m fee with Manchester City for Nathan Ake, with a deal for another centre-back also thought to be close.

Thomas Tuchel is desperate for defensive reinforcements this summer following the departures of both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen at the end of their contracts.

READ MORE: Seven PL clubs among top ten biggest spenders in Europe so far this summer

The Blues have been linked with a swathe of replacements, including Matthijs de Ligt, Jules Kounde and Presnel Kimpembe.

But it appears they are closing in on deals for Kalidou Koulibaly and Nathan Ake.

Reports emerged on Tuesday that Chelsea were in talks to sign Koulibaly from Napoli, and the Serie A side are said to be ready to accept a £32m offer from the Blues for the Senegal star.

Talks between Chelsea and Koulibaly – who only has one year left on his deal with the Italian club – have also progressed quickly, with the defender having verbally agreed personal terms too.

Koulibaly is set to earn £160,000 a week at Stamford Bridge, in addition to various performance related bonuses.

And according to 90min, Chelsea have also agreed a £45m deal for Ake, although the structure of the deal is yet to be finalised.

Personal terms aren’t thought to be an issue as Ake would be returning to his former club, having spent five years at Stamford Bridge before moving to Bournemouth in 2017.

The 27-year-old’s versatility is thought to be key to Tuchel’s interest, with him able to play at left-back and in central midfield as well as at centre-back.

Ake joined City from the Cherries for £41m in the summer of 2020 and has been a bit-part player under Pep Guardiola, starting nine Premier League games in his debut season and ten last term.

Meanwhile, Reece James has eased concerns that he could leave the club with Man City and Real Madrid thought to be interested in the England international.

When asked if he was wants to remain at Chelsea, James said: “I’d like to think so. I grew up as a Chelsea fan and I made my name playing for Chelsea the club I’ve always supported. I don’t see why that would change I play for Chelsea now and I’m enjoying it.”