‘It’s out of my hands’ – Howe powerless in preventing Chelsea target Ake from leaving

The Netherlands defender made the switch from Stamford Bridge to Bournemouth in 2017 and has now been linked with a return to the Blues

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has admitted he has little say in preventing players like Nathan Ake from leaving the club in January.

Ake has been a standout performer for the south coast side ever since his arrival, but his future at the club remains uncertain after interest from Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.

The defender made the switch from the Blues to the Cherries in a £20 million (€23m) deal in 2017, having joined the club on loan the season before.

The 24-year-old is now being linked with a return to Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea free to sign players after the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport to lift the club’s transfer ban.

And Bournemouth boss Howe says he is powerless in stopping the defender joining the Blues next month.

“It would be obviously my wish to hold on to everybody,” said Howe. “Some of these things are out of our control.

“We will wait and see. I don’t want to give you evasive answers but I am in no control of that at the moment.

“A lot of things with transfers – trying to bring players in, trying to keep the squad we have – is out of my hands.

“Obviously, we will be doing our best to be as strong as we can be in the second half of the season.”

Any discussions surrounding the player will, however, be delayed after Ake hobbled off injured in Saturday’s league defeat to Liverpool.

The Netherlands international pulled up with a hamstring injury after battling for a loose ball with Mohamed Salah, before being replaced by Jack Simpson just after the half-hour mark.

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The Reds then found the net just a minute later as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain finished after being played through by Jordan Henderson.

Howe is eager to keep his star players at the club heading into the New Year, with several first-team regulars currently out injured, having also lost striker Callum Wilson on Saturday with what looked to be a thigh injury.

Ake joins Steve Cook, Adam Smith and Charlie Daniels in the defensive injury-list, while Wilson finds himself alongside fellow attackers David Brooks, Junior Stanislas and Josh King in the long list of players facing some time out from first-team action.

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