AFC Bournemouth do not publicly comment on transfer speculation. That has always been the way under Cherries manager Eddie Howe, during his first stint in charge in League Two and League One and during his second stint, climbing through the lower leagues through the Championship and into the Premier League.
Whether it’s the signing of a potential new player, or speculation linking a player with a move away from Dean Court, the norm is that there will be no official comment from AFC Bournemouth until a deal is done.
However, on Saturday following months of speculation regarding the future of winger Ryan Fraser, AFC Bournemouth did release a statement.
Fraser scored 7 goals and claimed 14 assists during the 2018/19 Premier League campaign, but only has twelve months on his contract remaining on the south coast.
He has been the subject of many a transfer rumour, most notably with Arsenal.
AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake said in the statement released on afcb.co.uk…
“…The offer of a new long-term contract has been on the table for Ryan for some time.
“In September 2018, at the request of Ryan’s representative, negotiations were paused to allow the player to focus entirely on his football…
“…During that time, I have been – and continue to be – in regular dialogue with Ryan’s representative, and have made it clear to both him and the player that our contract offer remains on the table.
“Quite simply, Ryan is a fantastic player and an integral part of our squad. We look forward to welcoming Ryan back to us next month after a well-earned break, upon which he can focus on having another standout season for AFC Bournemouth.”
There was no groundbreaking information released in the statement. AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe had already alluded to the fact that the Cherries would like to sign Ryan Fraser to new contract beyond the summer of 2020.
So why did AFC Bournemouth decide that they had to make a comment?
The timeline appears to be as follows, ignited by Manchester United’s signing of Daniel James from Swansea City, the British media speculated that AFC Bournemouth had put a price tag of £40million on the head of Ryan Fraser.
This was due to the apparent rumour that Manchester United refused to match the offer and so moved on to Daniel James as their second choice option.
This prompted the Scottish media to quiz Ryan Fraser on recent rumours whilst the player was away on international duty with Scotland.
Ryan Fraser told The Scotsman…
“I honestly don’t think anyone will be paying that (when asked about a £30million price tag), It was six or seven months ago that we last spoke about my future, but nothing since. Even in the end of season meeting I had with the manager (Eddie Howe), we didn’t speak about my future.
He was also asked by the Evening Express regarding a potential cash windfall for Scottish side Aberdeen as they reportedly hold a 20% sell on clause.
The intimation that AFC Bournemouth have not been in dialogue with Ryan Fraser over a new contract and the mention that Eddie Howe has not discussed it with Fraser appears to be what prompted the statement from the Cherries.
Does this indicate a breakdown between the player and the club? Or at the very least between the club and the player’s representatives? It is certainly unusual for AFC Bournemouth to be playing out the apparent disagreement in the public domain.
I get the feeling that Ryan and his ‘representatives’ thought that the club would be falling over themselves to offer him anything he wants……the fact that they are not doing so makes me wonder if there is actually that much interest from Arsenal or any other club……we seem to be quite confidently calling their bluff. – Join the conversation, click here.