Over the span of just a few short days, AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has made two slightly differing comments regarding the future of Cherries winger Ryan Fraser.
The Scotland international has less than twelve months remaining on his current contract, which means he will be able to walk away from Dean Court come the end of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign on a free transfer and agree on a lucrative move elsewhere.
Ryan Fraser has been offered a new contract at Dean Court and that offer remains on the table, but no further discussions have been held.
Over the course of the summer AFC Bournemouth chief executive, Neill Blake made the unusual decision to make a statement regarding all of the speculation surrounding Fraser, after various media outlets made inaccurate reports regarding the situation.
From that point on there were noticeably fewer articles regarding Ryan Fraser and coincidentally, Arsenal signed other attacking targets.
Arsenal had been the club most frequently linked with a move for Fraser, but will not be the only potential suitors that the 24-year-old would consider if a bumper deal was on offer.
So what has AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe had to say on the situation? Prior to the international friendly doubleheader at Dean Court, which saw the Cherries lose 4-3 to Lazio and beat Lyon 3-0 Howe spoke to Sky Sports.
“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.”
In truth, nothing at all new given away by Howe, which is unsurprising considering his very articulate and deliberate management style with the media.
So can anything be read into a slight change of tone just a few days later when again asked by Sky Sports about Fraser?
On this occasion he said…
“I never make guarantees to anybody. It’s football and you never know what can happen.
“As we stand here now, I’m very insistent we keep the team together. It’s vitally important that we do.”
Fraser has been throwing strops all pre-season. – Join the conversation, click here.