Ake ‘focused’ on more playing time at Man City after Chelsea end transfer pursuit

The Dutch defender says his head is in the right place despite the scuppered move

Manchester City defender Nathan Ake insists he has not been affected by speculation about a move to Chelsea. The Netherlands international was linked with a return to Stamford Bridge over the summer that was reportedly called off because the Premier League champions demanded more money than the Blues were willing to pay.

Ake says that he is not bothered by talk of a possible transfer and is instead concentrating on cementing a spot in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI next season.

What did you say about a transfer to Chelsea?

“I will try to improve and make sure I get minutes, but my focus was not affected by the talk of a move,” Ake said, as quoted by The Mirror.

“It was all in the holiday period anyway. When I arrived back at the club I was very happy to be there straight away and to see everyone.

“When I started training my head was 100 per cent focused on City. I haven’t really spoken to Pep Guardiola, except about normal stuff like holidays. Just private stuff.

“It’s all been good and I’m just ready to kick on. Obviously you get information as well but during this holiday I tried to enjoy it and keep away from it. You only have two-and-a-half weeks or so. It’s not easy but I try to do that.”

Can Ake get into Man City starting XI?

Ake must compete with John Stones, Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte for a place in the center of the City defence.

But the sale of Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal could open up an opportunity for him to compete for a spot at left-back, where he has slotted in on occasion for both the English side and the Netherlands national team.

The 27-year-old is hopeful of improving on the 14 Premier League appearances he made last term as he is aiming for a place in the Netherlands squad for the World Cup.

“Getting into the team has been the challenge since I’ve been here. We’ve got a very good squad so I’ll play anywhere,” he added.

“It’s going to be a long season and I just want to be ready. Everyone wants to play, especially with the World Cup coming up.”

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