Nathan Ake insists he has not been unsettled with speculation linking him to a move to Chelsea.
The London club wanted to take the Dutch defender back to Stamford Bridge – only to be told by Manchester City that it would cost them £50million.
Ake, 27, wants regular first-team football to strengthen his claim for a place in Holland’s World Cup squad – but City would only let him leave at a price. He said: “I’m very happy to be at the club and 100 percent focussed.
“I will try to improve and make sure I get minutes, but my focus was not affected by the talk of a move
“It was all in the holiday period anyway. When I arrived back at the club I was very happy to be there straight away and to see everyone.
“When I started training my head was 100 per cent focussed on City. I haven’t really spoken to Pep Guardiola, except about normal stuff like holidays. Just private stuff.
“It’s all been good and I’m just ready to kick on. Obviously you get information as well but during this holiday I tried to enjoy it and keep away from it. You only have two-and-a-half weeks or so. It’s not easy but I try to do that.”
Ake knows he must force his way past John Stones, Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte to play in his favourite central defensive role.
But he can also operate as a left-back and if Brighton do not significantly lower their £50million valuation of Marc Cucurella then that might be an opening for him following Oleksandr Zinchenko’s departure to Arsenal.
Ake added: “Getting into the team has been the challenge since I’ve been here. We’ve got a very good squad so I’ll play anywhere.
“It’s going to be a long season and I just want to be ready. Everyone wants to play, especially with the World Cup coming up.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea remain locked in negotiations to finally sign Seville central defender Jules Kounde. Thomas Tuchel placed the Frenchman – along with Ake and Kalidou Koulibaly – as his top three options to replenish their defensive unit