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Chelsea have ended their interest in Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake — for now, at least — despite holding a $52-million buy-back option on the former Blues defender.

Ake, who has shone ever so brightly for Bournemouth over the last 18 months, would fetch a transfer fee much closer to $100 million in any transfer not involving a pre-negotiated fee.

Chelsea have been looking at Ake as one of a number of options since having their transfer ban reduced ahead of the January transfer window, according to a report from Sky Sports.

Of course, the possibility of re-acquiring Ake at a heavily discounted price — should the Cherries ultimately be relegated from the Premier League — certainly exists, and could very well be part of Chelsea’s plan for a long-term defensive rebuild. The only potential problem that could create is that other clubs would then be able to do the same, assuming Chelsea and Bournemouth haven’t also negotiated a (smaller) buy-back fee in the event of relegation.