Ake ready to cover ‘three positions’ for Man City as versatility tempted Guardiola into £40m deal

Nathan Ake, Bournemouth, Man City badgeGetty

Nathan Ake claims Manchester City have snapped him up in a £40 million ($53m) deal to cover “three positions” within Pep Guardiola’s squad.

The Blues moved to acquire the versatile Netherlands international after seeing Bournemouth relegated out of the Premier League.

Ake’s services had been much sought-after long before the Cherries found themselves sliding back into the Championship.

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They were never going to be able to retain his services once they tumbled into the second tier, with City moving quickly to position themselves at the front of a transfer queue.

Guardiola was thought to have made that move in a bid to find a suitable successor to Vincent Kompany at the heart of his back four.

Defensive issues held City back at times in 2019-20, with Ake viewed as a long-term option to fill a centre-half berth at the Etihad Stadium.

The 25-year-old is, however, capable of operating at left-back and in a holding midfield post, with the Dutchman suggesting that he could be asked to fill a number of roles for his new employers.

Speaking to Voetbal International, Ake said of his discussions with Guardiola and life in Manchester: “We talked about normal life first. That includes everything - family and how we are as people. That was easy and automatic. It is nice to get to know someone like this, for him too.

“Then it was about [the fact] that I can play in multiple positions. They are happy with that and they told me that. I think it’s a bonus that I can play football in three positions.

“I think we had a good conversation with each other. There was a warm feeling that felt good right away.”

Ake is currently away on international duty with the Netherlands, as they prepare to open their UEFA Nations League campaign against Poland on Friday.

They also have an outing against Italy to come on Monday, before a star-studded squad then breaks up and the players return to their domestic clubs.

Ake will be hoping to hit the ground running at City, with Guardiola’s side set to make a slightly delayed start to their 2020-21 Premier League when taking in a trip to Wolves on September 21.