According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Manchester City’s interest in Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Ake has intensified, and early discussions have taken place in relation to a possible deal.

Pep Guardiola’s side will look to mount a stronger title challenge next term after Liverpool pipped them to the prize this season, and recruiting a top defender is top of their plans.

Ake is also wanted by Tottenham Hotspur according to Daily Express.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho wants to beef up his leaky defence, and chairman Daniel Levy is said to be open to spending £40 million on the Bournemouth star.

Chelsea are also keeping tabs on the 25-year-old, but Man. City are leading the race and were running the rule over him ahead of the winter transfer window.

Bournemouth enquired about signing one of City’s youngsters on loan for next season of recent, and the former champions were keen to offer the player and an amount of money in exchange for Ake.

Failure to replace Vincent Kompany dealt a massive blow on Guardiola’s chances of defending the title, and City have since been linked with Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar, Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykola Matviyenko, Borussia Dortmund’s Dan-Axel Zagadou and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly.

It remains to be seen who will be signed but Ake appears to be the most feasible option, and he will definitely move on if 18th-placed Bournemouth fail to escape the drop.