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Hammers join race for Chelsea ace

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West Ham are ready to fight Southampton and Bournemouth for Chelsea defender Nathan Ake this summer.

The Telegraph reports that Ake could on his way out of Stamford Bridge should the Blues be successful in their pursuits either of in demand Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk or Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci.

Manager Antonio Conte is understood to be looking to bolster is options in the heart of his defence ahead of the new season, and should he bring in either of the two targets, Ake would find himself surplus to requirements at the Bridge.

Ake had an impressive first of the season in last year on loan at Bournemouth, but has since struggled for game time after being called back by Chelsea in January. Eddie Howe is allegedly keen on bringing the Dutchman back to Dean Court, but will have to battle a host of other clubs, including West Ham, for his signature.

Slaven Bilic is out to strengthen his defence this summer and has been linked with a move for Chris Smalling in recent weeks.


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