Eddie Howe says Bournemouth were 'denied' in their attempts to bring Chelsea defender Nathan Ake back to The Vitality Stadium. The Dutchman was on loan at Bournemouth during the first half of the season but was recalled by the table toppers after impressing for the Cherries.

Howe was disappointed to see Ake's spell on the south coast cut short and tried to bring the youngster back from Stamford Bridge despite Chelsea only recalling him a few weeks ago. Perhaps unsurprisingly, their attempts proved unsuccessful.

"We had discussions with Chelsea," Howe told The Mirror. "We made an enquiry about bringing him back on loan or permanently. They were denied."

Ake started Chelsea's 4-0 win over Brentford in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday [28 January] but has not featured at all in the league for Antonio Conte's men. The 21-year-old, who can play at centre-half and left-back, started eight times for Bournemouth during the embryonic stages of the campaign, scoring three goals.

Nathan Ake
Ake started Chelsea's game against Brentford on Saturday. Getty Images

Howe's men were not able to re-sign Ake on deadline day, and they also missed out on Chelsea's reserve goalkeeper, Asmir Begovic. Bournemouth submitted a bid in the region of £10m [The Evening Standard] for the Bosnian international, who spoke of his desire to leave the west London outfit. The Blues did try for Celtic stopper Craig Gordon but their advances were rebuffed by the Scottish league leaders.

Bournemouth did manage to capture young goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United. The 18-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Everton and is the only signing Howe's men were able to make in January. They also let utility man Marc Wilson leave for West Bromwich Albion on loan.