Chelsea have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of Nathan Ake, with the defender set to remain at Manchester City this summer.
The 27-year-old was heavily linked with a return to Stamford Bridge, but it appears that this will no longer happen.
The defender was thought to be on his way back to Chelsea as a replacement for Antonio Rudiger this summer, with Kalidou Koulibaly also set to sign.
The Napoli defender has passed his medical ahead of a £34 million move from the Serie A side, while Thomas Tuchel’s team were also closing in on Ake.
Nizaar Kinsella of The Evening Standard added to reports regarding the move falling through, stating that Manchester City have blocked any potential transfer to Chelsea.
Jacob Steinberg of The Guardian also added that despite agreeing personal terms with Ake over a return to London this summer, a deal is now off.
Matt Law of The Telegraph also confirmed the reports, stating that Ake is staying in Manchester.
Instead, Chelsea will turn their attention to alternative defensive targets as Tuchel seeks further reinforcements.
The Blues head coach has reportedly made a move for his former defender Presnel Kimpembe, who is seen as a natural left-sided centre back.
Tuchel is said to have already made contact with the 26-year-old to outline his plans ahead of the new season, with PSG open to offers for the Frenchman.
It appears that Thiago Silva has a preference as to who will join him in Chelsea’s back line ahead of the new season.
The Brazilian has sent ‘a few text messages’ to his former team mate Kimpembe to ‘sell him’ the project at Stamford Bridge as the Blues prepare a move.
It remains to be seen as to who the Blues will move for in the summer window, with Kimpembe reportedly a target alongside Ake.
With Koulibaly set to be officially announced as a new Chelsea player in the coming days, it shouldn’t be long before another defender joins him in Los Angeles for Chelsea’s pre-season training camp ahead of the new season.
Tuchel will be hoping to build a defence strong enough to challenge on all fronts next season as they look to once again lift silverware under the German.