NATHAN AKE has agreed a five year deal to join Manchester City after Chelsea declined to take up their option to sign the defender.
City saw a £41million bid for the Dutch international accepted by Bournemouth last week.
But Frank Lampard had first refusal under the terms of the deal which took him to the Cherries.
Chelsea have now informed Bournemouth they do not want to sign the 25-year-old centre-back despite their need to improve defensively over the summer.
And that leaves Akes in the clear to complete the formalities of his move to the Etihad once he returns from holiday with his partner.
Chelsea pulling out of any move for Ake will only increase speculation that West Ham star Declan Rice is their top target.
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Back in June SunSport exclusively revealed how the Blues want Rice to lead their defence next season.
Frank Lampard is desperate for someone to come into the heart of his back line and help drive a challenge for the Premier League title next season.
Hammers star Rice is the man he wants, with Lampard keen to shift him from the holding midfield position he currently plays in back to his natural home in the centre of defence.
Chelsea have sounded out their London rivals over a deal this summer and believe they can get their man for around £45million.
However, West Ham do not want to sell their main man, and would ask for a lot more than the £45m Chelsea think they could get him for.
Their valuation is expected to be closer to £70m.