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City close to Aké deal

Manchester City are close to agreeing a deal to sign Bournemouth defender Nathan Aké

Pep Guardiola has identified strengthening his defence as a priority for the summer after a season which has seen his side lose nine times, with their deficiencies brutally exposed in their shock FA Cup semi-final defeat to Arsenal at the weekend.

An Aké is regarded as a key component of this, with a fee of £35 million likely to be paid for the Dutch international.

He is under contract at Bournemouth until 2022m but, with the club now consigned to play in the Championship next season, they are reconciled to lose him, and may need the money his sale will bring to rebuild their squad as Eddie Howe attempts to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Ake’s arrival will cast doubts on the future of the centre-backs already at City, with John Stones and Nicolás Otamendi likely to be moved on during the window.

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