Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is not surprised to hear Tottenham are reportedly keeping a close eye on Nathan Ake – but stressed the defender remains a “massive part” of his team.
Dutchman Ake joined the Cherries on a permanent move from Chelsea during the summer following a successful loan spell.
Spurs are said to be tracking the 23-year-old, with a view to bolstering their own defences in the January window.
Manchester United have also been linked with him, while reports suggest both clubs would have to wait to see if Chelsea take up an option to re-sign him for around £40m.
Howe, though, feels such speculation is a credit to the approach of a player, whose focus remains very much on continuing his progress at Bournemouth.
“I think that’s a compliment to Nathan and how he’s played since he signed for us permanently,” Howe said.
“He’s been a model of consistency. He picked up all the player awards that he did at the end of last season and he’s carried that form into this (campaign), so I have been really pleased with him.”
Howe continued at a press conference: “I would say with any type of speculation that you are linked with, the clubs he’s been mentioned with, it’s a good sign.
“However, that doesn’t mean we’re about to lose him – he’s a massive part of what we are doing.”
On the source of the transfer rumours, Howe insisted: “Nothing from our side, where it comes from I don’t know. It is one of those things which happened.
“It’s inevitable (to be linked) when the team is doing well people will naturally highlight our players as potential players who can go on and play at a higher level, bigger club.
“I look at it as compliment for the team. It certainly won’t disrupt Nathan, knowing how level-headed he is and how conscientious he is towards his work.
“For him, he is such a good personality, it won’t affect him in any way.”