Chelsea in pole position to sign 24-year-old Premier League defender

Chelsea manager reportedly wants to activate a £40m buy-back deal to bring Nathan Ake back to Stamford Bridge but not before ascertaining whether Antonio Rudiger can play a full part in the rest of the campaign.

Blues defensively vulnerability was exposed by Premier League strugglers Everton as they triumphed 3-1 at Goodison Park under caretaker coach Duncan Ferguson. Frank was disappointed with his side’s display at the back-line, and he is ready to spend in winter to shore things up.

London club were unable to sign footballers over the summer due to a FIFA transfer ban which has now been lifted, allowing Chelsea to do business mid-season. Blues are expected to make up for a lost time, and Lampard is said to be a keen admirer of Nathan.

The Netherlands international initially signed for the London club way back in 2011, but failed to break into the senior team and after a successful loan spell at Cherries, he made a move permanent two years ago.

That move was worth only £20m and the centre-back like worth more than three times that now, but Blues believe they will be able to do a deal for only £40m due to a buy-back arrangement. But injury now plays a double-edged role in the move with the two teams each sweating on the fitness of a defender.

Blues Rudiger has played only 46 minutes of Premier League football this campaign and is due to return to fitness this week, but it stays to be seen how quickly or to what extent he can get back up to speed.