Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Ake is a man in high demand it seems with several outlets revealing that Tottenham and both Manchester giants are all keen to recruit the former Chelsea star.

Indeed Chelsea themselves are also said to be interested in resigning the Dutch international with a rumoured ‘gentleman’s agreement’ still in place from their sale last year of the highly-rated Ake that states that should the defender become available in the future he can be recouped for twice his original fee of £20m.

How much truth lies in this remains to be seen but what is not in doubt is that the consistent good form of Ake has made him a viable target especially with Spurs and Manchester United both seeking defensive upgrades this January. Furthermore a figure of £40m seems plausible and possible given the player’s integral impact on a successful start to the 2018/19 campaign for the Cherries.

Yet would Bournemouth sell and more so would they be willing to relinquish their star performer mid-season? This is where the story begins to unravel.

Cherries boss Eddie Howe responded to the chatter last week describing the links as a ‘compliment’ to Ake but insisting the south coast club would be wholly reluctant to lose a ‘massive part of what we’re doing’. He additionally admitted to being perplexed as to where the rumours came from.

Of course, balancing this out is the undeniable fact that a move to White Hart Lane, Old Trafford or the Etihad (the latter being the least likely destination as even City fans have aired confusion as to why a club that boasts Laporte, Stones, Kompany and Otamendi would need a new defensive recruit) would surely tempt the ambitious 23 year old who swept all of his club awards last May. It is elite form that has continued into this term and with a pass completion rate over 88% so far and a versatility that sees him equally at ease at full-back Ake certainly ticks many boxes for what Spurs and United desire.

“I’ve seen it pass by,” the player said recently on the links that are only increasing in momentum and prominence. “At the moment I play for Bournemouth and that is going well”.

At the moment, indeed.