PREMIER League champions Manchester City are the latest club to have been linked with Cherries star Nathan Ake.

National newspaper reports over the weekend suggested City were "considering a bid of £40m" for the defender in January.

It was said Pep Guardiola was an admirer of the versatile Dutchman who would bolster their home-grown quota as he started his career in Chelsea's academy.

A number of top Premier League clubs are said to be keen on the 23-year-old and he has also been linked with Manchester United and Tottenham.

The reports claimed Chelsea had first refusal on the central defender and would have to pay £40m to take him back to Stamford Bridge.

Fielding a question on the Ake speculation at a press conference on Friday, Eddie Howe said: “I think it’s a compliment to Nathan and how he’s played since he signed permanently for us.

“He’s been a model of consistency. He picked up all the player-of-the-year awards last season and has carried that form into this season. I’ve been really pleased with him.

“With any type of speculation that you are linked with and with the clubs he’s been mentioned with, it’s a good sign. That doesn’t mean we’re about to lose him. He’s a massive part of what we’re doing.”