Bournemouth have surprised Chelsea with an £18million bid for Dutch defender Nathan Ake on the afternoon of deadline day.
But the Blues have now closed the door on any potential exit, with the versatile youngster now considered a first-team player by coach Antonio Conte.
Ake spent the first half of this season on loan at Bournemouth and impressed them so much that Eddie Howe decided to go in with today’s serious bid.
Chelsea recalled Ake from loan at the start of this month. Antonio Conte wanted a new defender as squad back-up and was told to use one of the club’s youngsters rather than bringing in a new player. So Ake, who can play left-back or centre-back or even in midfield, was brought back from Bournemouth.
Conte wanted to integrate him into the first-team group, and he gave Ake a rare Chelsea start in the FA Cup against Brentford on Saturday.
Ake, 21, is now likely to spend the rest of the season gradually integrating with the first-team squad as they look to hold off a title challenge from cross-town rivals Tottenham.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies