Sat. Sep 26th, 2020

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Manchester United ‘wanted to sign Nathan Ake’… but rivals City beat them to £41m defender

2 min read

Manchester United were interested in signing Nathan Ake before rivals Manchester City beat them to land the £41million defender, according to reports. 

The Dutchman completed his move from Bournemouth to the Etihad on Wednesday but United were also in the market for a left-footed centre back with Ake fitting the bill perfectly.

Sky Sports report that the Red Devils needed to raise more funds before launching a bid for the 25-year-old with most of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s transfer budget dedicated to the chase for Jadon Sancho.

Manchester City beat rivals Manchester United to sign defender Nathan Ake for £41million

Manchester City beat rivals Manchester United to sign defender Nathan Ake for £41million

Manchester City beat rivals Manchester United to sign defender Nathan Ake for £41million

United had to raise funds before they could launch a bid for the left-sided centre back

United had to raise funds before they could launch a bid for the left-sided centre back

United had to raise funds before they could launch a bid for the left-sided centre back

The club have so far failed in their attempts to sell Marcos Rojo, who has not made an appearance since November 2018.

Chris Smalling’s proposed move to Roma also appears to be off with the Serie A side unwilling to meet United’s asking price.

Ake has already racked up 146 Premier League appearances, with Hector Bellerin and Luke Shaw the only defenders under the age of 25 with more. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared to cheekily tap up the Dutchman during his side's victory

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared to cheekily tap up the Dutchman during his side's victory

 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared to cheekily tap up the Dutchman during his side’s victory

The United boss appeared to cheekily tap up Ake during his side’s 5-2 victory over Bournemouth in July.

Solskjaer gave the defender a fist bump as he walked off the pitch and said: ‘Good luck’.

After he replied, ‘cheers, thank you’, the 47-year-old appeared to follow up with: ‘We need a left-footed centre back so keep going.’

Ake’s versatility means he can also fill in at left back, another area United are short on with young Brandon Williams currently filling in for the injured Shaw.

City have had defensive difficulties of their own with injuries to Aymeric Laporte forcing Pep Guardiola into playing Fernandinho at centre back on various ocassions.

Ake described signing for the blue half of Manchester as a ‘dream’.

The 25-year-old said it was a 'dream' to join Pep Guardiola's side ahed of the 2020-2021 season

The 25-year-old said it was a 'dream' to join Pep Guardiola's side ahed of the 2020-2021 season

The 25-year-old said it was a ‘dream’ to join Pep Guardiola’s side ahed of the 2020-2021 season

‘City have been the best side in England over the course of the last decade,’ the defender said.

‘Coming here is a dream for me. This is a top side full of world-class players. Everywhere you look in this squad there are big names with international pedigree. 

‘Pep is a manager admired across the world – what he’s done in the game speaks for itself. The success he’s had is unbelievable and the style of football he plays really appeals to me.

‘I know I’m going to have to work hard to get into the side, but that’s what I’m here to do. I’ll do whatever I can to make an impact and help the team win silverware.’  

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