Newcastle have had £50m Botman alternative 'on the radar' at St James' Park

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe

Newcastle United are ‘going to have to move on’ from Manchester City defender Nathan Ake due to his price tag, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The Magpies are believed to be in the market for a new centre-back and had identified the 27-year-old as a potential alternative to Lille’s Sven Botman.

What is the latest news involving Ake?

According to The Sun, Howe enquired about Ake in the January transfer window and had earmarked him as a top target once again for the summer.

However, City have informed the Newcastle hierarchy that the Netherlands international will cost £50 million as they are determined to make a profit on the player.

The reigning Premier League champions splashed out £40m to prise Ake away from Bournemouth in August 2020, and he’s gone on to claim two Premier League titles and the League Cup since then.

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Despite Newcastle becoming the richest club in the world, though, The Telegraph claim Howe will be handed a budget of just £90m.

Spending over half of that on a central defender would be a big decision for the 44-year-old tactician to make, although his £80,000-per-week wages are not expected to be an issue.

What has Jones said about Ake?

Jones has stated how City’s reported asking price for Ake is ‘not ideal’ and that Newcastle didn’t expect him to command that ‘sort of money’.

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He told GiveMeSport: “It’s not ideal, that’s for sure, and certain sources I’ve seen are playing that down as well.

“But he’s been a target for the best part of six months to a year, and they’ve had him on their radar. They definitely didn’t expect him to be coming in at that sort of money, though. It means they’re going to have to move on.”

Is Ake worth £50m?

Ake played 121 games under Howe’s tutelage during their time together at Bournemouth, so the Newcastle boss will be very familiar with his qualities.

The 5 foot 11 ace was labelled “fantastic” by compatriot Virgil van Dijk last year, and when taking a closer look at his underlying numbers, it’s hard to disagree with that viewpoint.

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As per FBref, Ake has ranked in the 98th percentile for passes attempted, the 96th for progressive carries and the 87th for aerial duels won amongst his positional peers over the last year.

He’s currently down Pep Guardiola’s pecking order at the Etihad Stadium, but with three years remaining on his contract and the quality he possesses, Newcastle are likely to have to pay a hefty fee to lure him away from City.

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