Manchester City on Wednesday announced the signing of Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake on a five-year deal — the second new arrival at the Etihad in the summer transfer window.
Pep Guardiola’s dethroned Premier League champions agreed a £40 million ($52 million) fee for the Netherlands centre-back, rising to a potential £41 million.
The signing comes a day after the club announced they had landed Spain Under-21s winger Ferran Torres from Valencia.
“City has been the best side in England over the course of the last decade,” Ake, 25, said in a club statement.
“Coming here is a dream for me. This is a top side full of world-class players. Everywhere you look in this squad there are big names with international pedigree.”
City director of football Txiki Begiristain said: “Nathan is a quality defender.
“He was a leader during his time at Bournemouth and I am so pleased we’ve managed to bring him here. He’s strong and quick, and we feel he has the technical and intellectual attributes needed to excel in Pep’s set-up.”
City finished 18 points behind Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who were crowned champions in June after a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus.
Guardiola’s team lost nine matches during the season, showing the need for a rebuild at the back.
A knee ligament injury to Aymeric Laporte early in the season hit City where they most lacked cover, in central defence, after failing to replace departed captain Vincent Kompany.
Manchester City are set to sign Netherlands defender Nathan Ake from Bournemouth after agreeing a £41 million ($53 million) deal, according to British media reports on Thursday.
City are reported to have negotiated a £40 million fee with relegated Bournemouth, with the deal potentially rising by a further £1 million depending on clauses.
Ake’s likely arrival at the Etihad Stadium comes after City endured a poor season defensively following the departure of Vincent Kompany to Anderlecht last year.
Hampered by a long-term injury to Aymeric Laporte and the disappointing form of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi, City boss Pep Guardiola was forced to deploy Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho at centre-back.
City never looked settled at the back and that weakness played a key role in Liverpool ending their two-year reign as Premier League champions.
Ake had been one of Bournemouth’s best players since joining from Chelsea in 2017.
There was expected to be strong interest in the 25-year-old during the summer transfer window and City have made their move now in a bid to secure his signature.
Ake, capped 13 times by the Netherlands, missed Bournemouth’s final three Premier League fixtures after suffering a groin injury in 4-1 win over Leicester on July 12.
In his absence, Eddie Howe’s side slipped into the Championship after five years in the Premier League.
Asked if Ake may have made his final appearance for Bournemouth after the Leicester game, Howe replied: “I think it would be silly of me to comment on that, to be honest, at this moment in time.
“I think next season and everything beyond it will take care of itself.”
City are also reported to be involved in advanced negotiations with Valencia for the signing of 20-year-old winger Ferran Torres.
It is understand the Premier League side have agreed an initial fee of £20.9 million with Valencia and talks over potential add-ons are continuing.
City are in the market for a new winger following the departure of Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich.
Mauricio Pochettino insists nine-man Tottenham won’t let a “cruel” 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth ruin their bid to finish in the Premier League’s top four and reach the Champions League final.
South Korea forward Son Heung-min was sent off for a needless push in the closing moments of the first half and Argentine defender Juan Foyth saw red for a studs-up lunge soon after the interval, barely two minutes after entering the field as a half-time substitute.
Pochettino’s side looked like they would hold on for a point as the match entered stoppage-time, but Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake ended third-placed Tottenham’s stubborn resistance to delay their attempt to guarantee a place in the top four.
A win at Dean Court would have achieved that aim, but fourth-placed Chelsea will now go above Spurs if they defeat Watford and Arsenal, currently fifth, will move to within one point of their north London rivals if they beat Brighton.
“Of course it is difficult to get something positive. We made a massive effort,” said Pochettino.
“We need to move on. We have ahead two finals. It is in our hands. If it does not happen we will be proud because nobody expected Tottenham to be in the position they are today.”
Tottenham’s ninth defeat in their last 15 games in all competitions means they need to wait for Sunday’s results to see if they need to win their final Premier League game of the season at home to Everton on May 12.
It was the worst possible preparation for their bid to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the Champions League semi-final second leg at Ajax on Wednesday.
“We are fighting six teams. It’s impossible for all six to get the top four, whatever happens, I will feel proud and whatever happens in the semi-final I will be proud,” added the Argentine.
Pochettino didn’t rest any of his key players ahead of the trip to Amsterdam, with Son, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Moussa Sissoko and Lucas Moura all starting, although Jan Vertonghen was absent after his head injury in midweek.
Lucas Moura tried to catch out Bournemouth’s teenage keeper Mark Travers with an audacious effort from the halfway line.
Travers, making his Premier League debut, was way off his line, but went unpunished as the Tottenham forward’s shot went just wide.
The 19-year-old was fortunate on that occasion, but he proved he had banished any nerves when he dived to his right to save Dele Alli’s long-range strike.
– Ugly tackle –
Lucas tried again from more conventional range when the Brazilian burst clear for a shot from the edge of the area that Travers did well to tip over the bar.
Shining in his personal duel with Lucas, Travers foiled the Tottenham star for a third time, quickly rushing off his line to save with his legs before producing another superb save to keep out Alli’s header.
Tottenham finished the half down to 10 men as Son earned an out-of-character dismissal.
Frustrated by a heated battle for possession with Ryan Fraser, Son responded to Jefferson Lerma’s presence by shoving the Bournemouth midfielder to the turf, leaving Craig Pawson no option but to flash the red card.
Tottenham’s disciplinary woes weren’t finished yet and Pochettino was left shell-shocked after his half-time substitute Foyth was the second player to be sent off following an ugly tackle that smashed into Jack Simpson’s leg in the 48th minute.
Tottenham couldn’t hold out and Ake headed home from Fraser’s corner in the 91st minute.
In a dramatic finale, Tottenham felt they should have had a penalty with the last kick when Alli was bundled over by Wilson, but Pawson ignored their protests.