Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is confident winger Ryan Fraser will still be at the Vitality Stadium when the transfer window shuts next month. The Cherries have been expecting bids from Arsenal, but the Gunners look to have gone all out to sign Lille’s Nicolas Pepe for £72million.
Fraser has been linked with the exit door since January after enjoying a superb campaign under Howe last season. The Scotland international scored six goals in the Premier League last season and also chipped in with a number of assists but he is now in the final year of his contract.
Bournemouth continue to try and tie Fraser down to fresh terms but despite the lack of progress, Howe is confident he will still be a Cherries player on August 9, the day after the transfer window shuts.
He told reporters: “It goes in line with what I said earlier – we are very keen to keep our best players. I am confident that we can keep the squad together and keep adding players the other way to make us improve. “I think (the speculation) is part and parcel of being a footballer at this level, especially if you’re excelling and doing well.
“You’re going to have people talk about you, write about you and speculate. I would urge any player in that situation to ignore the talk and just play football and do what you do best. I think Ryan’s done that very well.”
If he stays put, Fraser is expected to start the first game of the season against Sheffield United. Bournemouth are 1.85 favourites, with the draw 3.75, while the Blades are 4.00 to win just months after earning promotion back to the top flight.