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Howe responds to Ake's Chelsea, Arsenal & Man City links

12:50 GMT 03/01/2020
Nathan Ake Bournemouth 2019-20
The Dutchman has been a huge hit since swapping Stamford Bridge for Dean Court, leading to speculation that he could be moving on again soon

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has claimed that there have been no offers so far in January for the services of Nathan Ake, with the centre-back having been linked with fellow Premier League sides Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City in recent times.

With Frank Lampard's Blues now able to sign new faces following the lifting of a transfer ban, a return to Stamford Bridge has been mooted for Ake, while Pep Guardiola was reported to be an admirer of the defender amid something of a back-line crisis at the Etihad.

The Gunners are the latest in the line of alleged suitors, with a serious injury to Calum Chambers – coupled with an already dreadful defensive record – seeing Ake's name come up again in the rumour mill.

Asked if the Cherries have been approached regarding the services of the 24-year-old, however, Howe told a press conference: “Nothing to report on Nathan. He's recording well from his injury and we'll see what happens when he is back fit.”

Ake has been a big miss for Howe, having come off injured against Liverpool at the beginning of November. And he is not the only one, with Josh King, Jack Stacey, Adam Smith, Arnaur Groenveld, Charlie Daniels, Lloyd Kelly and David Brooks all still crocked.

With such a long list of casualties, the hope is that those on the sidelines can return sooner rather than later - as opposed to relying heavily on dipping into the winter transfer market.

“The biggest thing for us is to get some players back who are injured,” Howe went on. “We know the quality of players who are missing.

“If we can [sign players], then great. I'm not going to give you any definitive ideas for what will happen. Maybe loans but maybe nothing. It'll depend on the injured players coming back.”

Howe, who was speaking on the 11th anniversary of his first match in charge of Bournemouth, could well be looking at Saturday evening's FA Cup third-round clash with Luton as a welcome distraction, having ended their last Premier League matchday in the relegation zone.

And the manager, who saved his club from the drop – and potentially going out of business – over a decade ago, may look to draw on previous experiences as he looks to arrest the Cherries' slump.

“That first season prepared me in so many good ways for what will come after,” he said. “It was the ultimate pressure because the date of the football club hung in the balance.

“It was uncomfortable, but I was fortunate to be thrust into that position.”