By Wayne Veysey
Tottenham have told Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake they want to sign him this summer as a long-term replacement for Jan Vertonghen, Football Insider understands.
The north Londoners are in the market for at least one centre-back in the current window amid doubts over Toby Alderweireld’s future and Vertonghen’s age as well as growing number of injuries.
A Spurs source has told Football Insider that the club are looking at Ake as a left-sided centre-back who can also fill in at left-back, eventually succeeding Vertonghen.
The club’s recruitment team have let it been down through third parties they see a key role for the 24-year-old at the new White Hart Lane to bed in and eventually succeed one of their most consistent and popular players.
Ake has made a big impression at Bournemouth since signing from Chelsea two years ago for a fee of over £20million and started all 38 of their league matches last season.
Another key reason is that Ake – despite being Dutch – counts as a homegrown player, having left Feyenoord for Chelsea at the age of 16 and spent his formative years with the Premier League club.
Tottenham are short of homegrown players and are looking to rectify that with the signings they make this summer.
Vertonghen turned 32 in April and has a year remaining on his contract with the north Londoners, who he joined from Ajax in 2012.
The Belgium international was a mainstay of the side that reached the club’s first-ever Champions League final and is a nailed-on starter when fit and available but made just 22 Premier League starts last season due to injury.