Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has warned Chelsea off Nathan Ake after the Dutchman was linked with a return to Stamford Bridge.
Ake has excelled at the Vitality Stadium since joining the club permanently in summer 2017, having previously impressed during a loan spell on the south coast.
But Howe has dismissed the rumours and says Bournemouth have no intention of selling one of their prized assets.
“He is part of our long-term plan,” he said. “Of course, he is going to have admirers from other clubs, I think that goes with the territory at this level.
“It’s part of the modern-day Premier League player that, if you do well, your media attention increases and you have to deal with that. That’s another tick in the box for Nath because he has dealt with all that. It’s never affected him, all the media talk and transfer speculation.
“The biggest compliment I can give Nathan is in his conduct, his professionalism and his leadership. I can’t speak highly enough of him. The way he conducts himself. He does it with very minimal fuss, he goes about his work but is determined to improve.”
“He certainly fits our style and how we want to play, being comfortable with the ball and having the bravery to play, build attacks and all the things that are the hallmarks of our defenders.
“Nathan would be a great one for our younger players to look at and all the way through the club to say ‘that’s the ideal centre-half for us’.
“He’s an absolute winner and a really good guy to manage – he sets the tone in terms of character for the players.
“He is now a permanent fixture of our back four, a model of consistency and developing and improving all the time.”
Bournemouth will climb into the top half of the Premier League table if they beat Watford on Saturday.
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