Bengaluru, November 12: South coast side Bournemouth are set to spark a £40million scramble for their star defender Nathan Ake.
Cherries boss Eddie Howe is keen to line up a replacement centre-back in a hurry as he wants to keep up his side's impressive start to the season.
Howe fears the Dutch 23-year-old will be sold in January or at the end of the season, with several top clubs impressed with his form.
The south coast club will hold out for a huge fee and their valuation is no secret to Ake’s fan club at home and abroad.
Reports claim Chelsea have a £40m buyback clause in the deal which took Ake to the Vitality Stadium.
Meanwhile, the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham have all been linked with the Netherlands international.
Ake didn’t have the greatest of games in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Newcastle, but he has played a big role in Bournemouth’s impressive Premier League campaign so far.
Howe knows the offers could come in the next transfer window and his scouts are checking out possible replacements around Europe. They have focused on Italy’s Serie A for young defenders who would fit the bill.
Brentford star Chris Mepham is also fancied, but Howe failed to land the 21-year-old last term.
It is believed that Manchester United are the frontrunners for Ake at the moment. Ake would surely be an upgrade on the likes of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof, and has the benefit of experience of playing in England over rumoured targets like Milan Skriniar.
Chelsea may also feel they could do with more options in defence, with Ake an ideal long-term replacement for ageing pair David Luiz and Gary Cahill, the latter of whom also seems to be out of the first-team picture now.