According to constant media reports, Manchester City are chasing Leicester centre-back Harry Maguire, who is also interesting arch-rivals Manchester United, who have already seen a bid of £70million turned down by the Foxes.
Reportedly Leicester wants a world record fee for the England international. It seems the fee for Maguire could be absolutely massive and City may leave United to the signing of the former Hull star.
However, according to reports from French sports paper L’Equipe, City could be close to the £40million signing of Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Ake.
Ake certainly a decent alternative to Maguire
Nathan Ake looks like a good alternative to Maguire and would likely be half the price. The 24-year-old has been highly-rated since he broke into the Chelsea as a teenager.
He is a good centre, with decent pace and can bring the ball out of defence. Ake started all 38 games for Bournemouth last season, as the Cherries struggled near the wrong end of the table. Ake could not be held responsible for his team’s poor defensive record, as he was one of the better performers in Eddie Howe’s team.
Can improve under the guidance of Guardiola
Nathan Ake is still relatively young at 24 years of age. He is not quite the finished article when it comes to centre-backs. The Netherlands international does have a mistake in him and does need to work on his defending.
However, working with Pep Guardiola and better coaches at Manchester City would no doubt benefit the defender’s development. For a centre-back, he is still a couple of years off his prime.
I have heard fans criticise City’s interest in Ake, as he is not yet world-class and saying stuff like ‘he is not a patch on Vincent Kompany’. Not many players are and they need to gather experience and receive good coaching to improve.
Ake would be fine as a summer signing. City obviously needs a centre-back and he is a decent option. Those questioning the potential fee have to remember that the transfer market is crazy and has been for the past few years. The mooted fee of £40million is not terrible for a Dutch international with top-flight experience.
In an ideal world, City would have a central defensive partnership of Aymeric Laporte and John Stones. However, for whatever reason, the latter struggled for form and was not always a regular for Guardiola’s team last season.
The fact that the Citizens are looking for another centre-back is not the lack of confidence in Stones, it is more the lack of central defensive options heading into the campaign.
City looking to challenge on all fronts next season
Guardiola has started to bring in new players with full-back Angelino returning from PSV, while Spanish midfielder Rodri is set to complete a move from Atletico Madrid reportedly worth a club-record £62.8million.
Signing another centre-back is the other reportedly transfer priority this summer for the Citizens, as they attempt to challenge on all fronts next seasons. The departure of Kompany has certainly left a void in defence.
The Citizens are obviously targeting a third straight Premier League title. However, the main target for Guardiola’s team will be the Champions League next season, which they are favourites to win at odds of 5/1.
It is doubtful that the signing of Nathan Ake, or indeed Maguire would move the Citizens closer to achieving their goal this season. Nevertheless, the Dutchman would be a cost-friendly addition for City, compared to Maguire anyway.
Would Nathan Ake be a good alternative to Harry Maguire for Manchester City?
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