'Unscripted' is how Nathan Ake describes becoming the second Chelsea academy graduate to be bought for serious money by Manchester City.

It's fitting; when he and Kevin De Bruyne met briefly almost a decade ago they could never have imagined that they would be reunited in a rival Premier League team yet here they both are, about to line up together in a lighter shade of blue.

Five years after the Wolfsburg midfielder - dubbed 'the £60m reject' on one newspaper back page - came to the Etihad to take the division by storm as the best player, Ake arrives from relegated Bournemouth for £40m ready to take his big chance.

Chelsea had the option to buy him, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was rather clumsily caught on camera telling him to keep impressing because United wanted a left-footed centre-back but the desire to follow in the footsteps of Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling and improve under the best manager in the world to take his game to the next level.

"There was interest from others but I’d rather not say which clubs. I made the decision to come here, I spoke with the manager, had a good conversation with him and when a club like City comes in for you, just knowing you’re going to learn so much and being able to play with players like this and train under a manager like this, I just knew I could develop myself even more," he told MEN Sport.

"I think I’m at the perfect age now where I can learn and develop and I thought it was the right place to do it.

"The manager has improved so many players over the years and that's what I'm looking to do as well to come here at the beginning of the week and work with him to try and see where I can improve tactically, what he expects of me. I'm just looking forward to hopefully taking my game to the next level.

"This is where you want to be ultimately. There's not many higher clubs you can go to. I'm so happy at the moment and am looking forward to learning from one of the best managers in the world and the best players in the world. I'm excited to see what is going to happen in the next 12 months or so."

If Ake couldn't have imagined at the beginning of his career that he would be linking back up with De Bruyne aiming to prevent Chelsea success, the 25-year-old has been determined from an early age to leave as little as possible to chance in his pursuit to reach the top.

Ake played against City on multiple occasions for Bournemouth

Growing up, he was more interested in knowing what parts of his game needed to be better than listening to any praise that would come his way and as technology in football has developed the defender has sought out footage to review and learn from. He is teetotal out of a belief that he doesn't want to have any regrets when he looks back on his career, and worked individually with a fitness coach after signing for City this summer before heading off for Netherlands duty to ensure he was in the best possible condition.

With the Dutch team, Ake has been a sponge soaking up anything he can from Virgil Van Dijk - who has wished him well on the move. The Liverpool supremo and Juventus defender Matthijs De Ligt are quite the competition, and Ake has been trying to replicate the leadership shown by Van Dijk while at Bournemouth.

"Over the last three years or so they formed a great partnership in the national team but especially with Virgil being more experienced and older the way he behaves on the pitch as a leader - he's always talking, he's always organising the line, helping other people in front of him," Ake said. "I've picked up those kind of things over the years and try to implement them in my own game and get that leadership.

"It's not easy. In the last year especially I tried to pick it up at Bournemouth more on the pitch, sometimes off it.

"Things like organising the team, certain situations when the team is not playing well, trying to pick the team up, trying to give information, even in training sessions trying to get the team going and stuff like that.

"That is what Virgil does all the time and that is what I have been trying to learn. I think I have got better over the last year, I still have things to improve and I'm sure I can do that.

Ake and Van Dijk are teammates at international level

"From my youth I was always trying to improve. Even when people would say you'd had a good game, from the inside you always know if you had a good game or not.

"From a young age, I was always trying to see what I could have done better. That just carried on until now really, I always try to improve and see how I can make myself a better player."

That leadership could prove useful in a City team looking for more this season, and while Ake is most known for being the best of a porous Bournemouth defence his experience with the Dutch national side and Chelsea should not be underestimated. With both, he has learned all about the qualities and character needed to make it in the game to the extent that arriving at a club challenging for everything from one recently relegated does not faze him in the slightest.

The Blues made it clear that they would be pursuing another marquee defender in this transfer window seen as a long-term partner for Aymeric Laporte, yet Ake was confident enough in his own abilities to make the move regardless. Centre-back is the aim, left-back is another option but more than anything a player unerringly focused on improvement is looking forward to learning from a manager with the same mindset.

"When you’re new to a team you have to see how the style of play is. I’ve played against City a lot obviously so I know how the team plays a little bit but still when you come in, you have to adapt a little bit, see what the manager wants and expects of you," he said.

"In the coming weeks that’s going to be the case and I’ll be trying to adapt to the team as quick as possible. But it’s a nice challenge and one I’m up for for sure.

"My preference has always been in the centre but everyone knows that I’m quite versatile and can play multiple positions so I’ll just have to see where the manager needs me and wants to play me and he knows he can put me wherever.

"Over the years I had to deal with a lot of things - going out on loan, trying to get a place, so I’ve always had to fight a lot to get into teams, it was never easy. Even at Bournemouth, for the first few months I was on the bench and had to work my way into the team so wherever you go it’s never easy.

"There are a lot of top players here so it’s going to be hard and I know that but I love challenges. Ever since I was young I’ve wanted a challenge so I just have to make sure I do my best for myself and the team and then who knows when or how I’m going to get in the team."