An update has emerged on Newcastle United’s attempts to sign Manchester City centre-back Nathan Ake…
What’s the talk?
According to Football Insider, Pep Guardiola’s side will block any bids for the Netherlands international in the January transfer window.
The report claims that City want to keep hold of Ake in order to maintain their squad depth for the second half of the season and will reject the Magpies’ interest in the defender.
Howe will be raging
Eddie Howe will surely be raging with this big blow to his January transfer plans. He worked with Ake at Bournemouth earlier in his career and could have been excited at the prospect of a reunion with the Dutchman, who was a star performer for him in the Premier League at the Vitality Stadium.
He played three full seasons in the top flight under Howe, keeping them in the division in two of those, and averaged a WhoScored rating of at least 6.75 in each one. This shows that he was a reliable option for the 43-year-old and was able to consistently put in good performances, which is why this update is a big blow and a setback for the ex-Cherries coach.
Meanwhile, no Newcastle centre-back has managed a rating of more than 6.48 this season in the Premier League, with the Magpies rooted to the bottom of the table. They are 20th in the league and without a single win to their name, with just six points on the board.
Newcastle are yet to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League this season and this highlights the club’s need to bolster their defence in the January window. Therefore, Ake may have been a key target for Howe, especially given his pre-existing relationship with the player, and City’s decision to block a transfer will leave him fuming, coming as a big blow to his plans.
He will be living that he’ll now need to identify other players to come in and improve his squad. Ake may have been able to come in and hit the ground running due to his knowledge of how the Magpies boss wants to play and his Premier League experience, whereas a player coming in from abroad may need a settling-in period which could limit their impact in the first few weeks.