Club boss admits he is powerless to stop player from joining Chelsea in January

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Chelsea have identified Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake as a key signing ahead of the January transfer window.

The Blues have struggled in defence this season and Chelsea boss Frank Lampard believes Ake can help strengthen Chelsea’s defence.

Manchester City and Tottenham are also interested in the 24 year old defender but Chelsea are favourites to sign him after inserting a £40 million buyback clause when he was sold to Bournemouth.

Asked about Chelsea’s interest in the defender, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe conceded the Dutchman’s future is out of his hands.

Howe said: “It would be obviously my wish to hold on to everybody. 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 [from] 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 into the second half of the season.”

Chelsea sold Ake to the Cherries for just £20m in the wake of our 2017 title win.

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