Ake admits to snubbing rival interest to make £40m Man City move

Nathan Ake Manchester City GFX
The versatile Dutch defender has revealed that other clubs were keen on securing his signature, but he wants to thrive under Pep Guardiola’s guidance

Nathan Ake admits to having shunned rival interest in order to make a £40 million ($53m) move to Manchester City.

The versatile Dutch defender suffered relegation out of the Premier League in 2019-20 with Bournemouth.

He was never going to stick around at the Vitality Stadium and take in Championship football, with the 25-year-old deserving of a much grander stage.

Several landing spots were mooted for him as another transfer window swung open, with Manchester United urged to join the bidding as they seek out a left-sided centre-half.

City, though, were to win the race for a much sought-after signature, with Ake looking to thrive under Pep Guardiola and take his game to even greater heights at the Etihad Stadium.

He told the Manchester Evening News: “There was interest from others but I’d rather not say which clubs.

“I made the decision to come here, I spoke with the manager, had a good conversation with him and when a club like City comes in for you, just knowing you’re going to learn so much and being able to play with players like this and train under a manager like this, I just knew I could develop myself even more.

“I think I’m at the perfect age now where I can learn and develop and I thought it was the right place to do it.

“The manager has improved so many players over the years and that's what I'm looking to do as well to come here at the beginning of the week and work with him to try and see where I can improve tactically, what he expects of me. I'm just looking forward to hopefully taking my game to the next level.

“This is where you want to be ultimately. There's not many higher clubs you can go to.

“I'm so happy at the moment and am looking forward to learning from one of the best managers in the world and the best players in the world. I'm excited to see what is going to happen in the next 12 months or so.”

City are set to open their 2020-21 campaign on Monday when taking in a trip to Wolves.

Ake will be hoping to make his bow in that contest and has, after conceding that he could fill a number of roles for the Blues, revealed what his favoured position will be in Guardiola’s plans.

He added: “My preference has always been in the centre but everyone knows that I’m quite versatile and can play multiple positions so I’ll just have to see where the manager needs me and wants to play me and he knows he can put me wherever.

“Over the years I had to deal with a lot of things - going out on loan, trying to get a place, so I’ve always had to fight a lot to get into teams, it was never eas

Article continues below

“Even at Bournemouth, for the first few months I was on the bench and had to work my way into the team so wherever you go it’s never easy.

“There are a lot of top players here so it’s going to be hard and I know that but I love challenges.

“Ever since I was young I’ve wanted a challenge so I just have to make sure I do my best for myself and the team and then who knows when or how I’m going to get in the team.”