CHARLIE Daniels says Cherries would welcome back former loan star Nathan Ake "with open arms" – if Eddie Howe succeeds in a swoop for the Chelsea player.

A report in The Sun newspaper over the weekend claimed Cherries were "closing in on" a £20million-plus deal for the Dutch international.

Ake was a big hit with fans and team-mates during his six-month stay at Vitality Stadium before he was recalled by the Premier League champions at the turn of the year.

Howe failed in a bid to land Ake permanently on the final day of the January transfer window but the elegant defender has remained firmly on the manager's radar.

And Daniels would love to have the 22-year-old back in the ranks – even if it would mean extra competition for places across Cherries' back four.

Daniels, speaking to the Daily Echo before the recent revelations, said: "I thought he was a very good acquisition for us last season.

"It was a shame he had to go back to Chelsea when he did. He was a great person to have in the squad and he scored some important goals for us.

"We would welcome him back with open arms.

"You can go one of two ways when the manager brings in a new player. You can throw in the towel or you can knuckle down, work hard and do everything you can to keep your place in the team.

"That is the way I have always approached it. If new players do come in, I am sure all the lads will be exactly the same.

"As a back four, we are not ready to give up yet. The gaffer will be looking to improve, we know that, and it will be down to us to make sure we are in the starting XI next season."

Ake scored three goals during his time with Cherries, with two of those strikes contributing to victories over Stoke and Liverpool. Howe's team claimed 13 points from the eight games he started.

After returning to Chelsea, though, Ake began just one Premier League match, while Cherries surged up the table to finish in ninth spot.

And Daniels expects his team's increased standing to be a useful bargaining chip for the manager in any negotiations with transfer targets.

"I do not think we can underestimate what a big achievement last season was for us and where we finished will only attract bigger players," continued Daniels.

"That is the standard we have set ourselves now. This is a fantastic club to play for and Bournemouth is a fantastic place to live.

"So it is no surprise we are being linked with such high-profile names.

"When people come and look around the club they realise how far we have come and how far we expect to go.

"I am sure that excites players who could potentially come in. And when players do sign, they really buy into what we do."