Chelsea weighing up a move for ex-player Nathan Ake - report
However, since then he has become a key part of Eddie Howe's team, made 13 appearances for the Dutch national side, and become a highly sought after defender.
It's thought that Chelsea have a buy-back clause that would allow them to re-sign the player for £40m, thought to be well below his market value. Any move for Ake is said to be dependent on the fitness of Antonio Rudiger.
Chelsea's transfer ban has been something of a blessing in diguise for Frank Lampard this season, allowing him to give minutes to Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James, Fikayo Tomori and Callum Hudson-Odoi, all of whom have repaid him with some excellent performances.
However, the ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration, meaning Chelsea are again eligible to sign players from January. They have already been linked with moves for Ben Chilwell, Timo Werner, Moussa Dembele, Wilfried Zaha, and a massive £100million bid for Jadon Sancho.
There may also be some high profile departures come January, with Olivier Giroud's time at Stamford Bridge almost certain to be coming to an end. The former Arsenal striker has fallen down the pecking order this season thanks to the excellent form of Tammy Abraham, and is thought to want to secure first team football elsewhere ahead of the European Championships in 2020.
Pedro, Marcos Alonso, and Willian, whose contract expires at the end of the season, could also be on their way out of the club.