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Premier League champions Manchester City are plotting to make a bid for £50 million-rated Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell in January, according to reports.
City have been left short in the left-back position with first choice Benjamin Mendy out injured until February at the earliest. While players such as Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko have filled in there, boss Pep Guardiola is thought to want to sign a specialist for the position.
Chilwell has been identified as the number one target thanks to his eye-catching start to the season, according to The Mirror. Not only has the 21-year-old made the left-back position his own at Leicester City, he has also broken into the England side and is now arguably Gareth Southgate’s first choice in that position.
Mendy has performed well for City since his £52 million move from Monaco in summer 2017, but he has been plagued by injury. He missed most of last season with a cruciate ligament injury and has been out for some time this term too and is likely to be for some time yet. He has also been reprimanded by Guardiola for his social media postings and turning up late to training.
However, Leicester City are not likely to let one of their biggest assets go without a fight. He recently signed a new contract with the club up to 2024. The management played hardball with Manchester United in the summer when they came in for fellow £50 million-rated defender Harry Maguire and refused to do a deal. It is likely they would put up a similar fight for Chilwell.
But with money no object to City, if they really wanted to they could put together a transfer package that would be hard for club and player to ignore.
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As Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho continues to search for a new centre-back, his attentions have now turned to AFC Bournemouth’s Dutch star Nathan Ake, according to reports.
Ake has been in fine form for Bournemouth this season, helping the side to its best ever start in the top flight. He signed for Bournemouth for £20 million from Chelsea in time for the 2017/18 season, having previously been on loan at the south coast club. He has also broken into the Netherlands national squad.
Mourinho has been known to be searching for a centre-back, and last summer spent time chasing, among others, Tottenham Hotspur’s Toby Alderweireld and Leciester City’s Harry Maguire, but this came to nought as United’s board refused to pay what was seen as over the odds for them.
Now it appears Mourinho’s attention has turned to Ake, who he worked with previously at Chelsea.
However, Ake himself has sought to cool the rumours, saying it is just speculation. “At the moment I play at Bournemouth and that is going well, so I focus on that. ‘This does not say much about my status yet. They are rumours on the internet and as long as I do not hear anything myself, I will not go into that.”
Bournemouth will also be reluctant to sell. Boss Eddie Howe wants to build his side around the 23-year-old. If they were to part with him, they would want considerably more for the player than the £20 million they signed him for.