Chelsea are closing in on a deal for Manchester City defender Nathan Ake, 90min understands, as they continue their efforts to reinforce their depleted backline.

The Blues are in dire need of fresh blood in central defence following the departures of both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen at the end of their respective contracts.

90min reported earlier on Tuesday that Chelsea have advanced talks with notoriously tough negotiators Napoli over centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, and should he make the move he could well be joined at Stamford Bridge by Ake.

Sources have informed 90min that a £45m fee has been agreed with Man City for the Netherlands international, although the exact structure of the deal and add-on sums are yet to be finalised.

A former Chelsea player, Ake is keen on a return to the club and therefore it is not anticipated that personal terms will be a stumbling block. His versatility is seen as an attractive proposition by head coach Thomas Tuchel, with the player able to operate at centre-back, left-back and left wing-back.

90min reported in late June that City were prepared to sell Ake this summer, and he is now nearing a return to west London.

The 27-year-old spent five years with Chelsea before signing for former loan club Bournemouth in 2017, although he was only ever a bit-part player at Stamford Bridge.

Listen now to 90min’s Talking Transfers podcast, with Scott Saunders, Graeme BaileyHarry Symeou Toby Cudworth. On the latest show they discuss Chelsea turning to Antony and Serge Gnabry as Barcelona close in on Raphinha, why Manchester United have still not signed Frenkie de Jong, Manchester City’s pursuit of Marc Cucurella and their interest in Jules Kounde and Pau Torres. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

Ake joined City from the Cherries for £41m in the summer of 2020 and has been used as a squad player there too, starting nine Premier League games in his debut season and ten last term – although he did win back-to-back league titles.

Alongside Ake and Koulibaly, Chelsea also retain an interest in fellow centre-backs Presnel Kimpembe and long-term target Jules Kounde. Former priority Matthijs de Ligt appears set to join Bayern Munich.

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