AFC Bournemouth supporters may want to take an added interest in some unlikely fixtures at the World Cup this month.
The Cherries this week have been heavily linked in the media with interest in Colombia international Jefferson Lerma.
Lerma currently plays for Spanish La Liga side Levante, who he joined in 2015 from Atletico Huila in his native Colombia.
Despite having only made his debut for his country a little over six months ago, he is currently preparing for the World Cup in Russia with his international team-mates.
— Jefferson Lerma (@jeffersonlerma) June 12, 2018
But he could be set to swap Valencia for Bournemouth if transfer reports are accurate.
One of the first reports came via tabloid newspaper The Sun, they claimed that “Bournemouth are making a remarkable £18million bid for Levante’s Colombia World Cup star Jefferson Lerma.
“Boss Eddie Howe has set up the move and hopes to agree the fee with the Spanish side ahead of finalising the transfer while the player is in Russia.
The 23-year-old was reportedly dropped from Levante’s final few games of the 2017/18 campaign due to various offers from other clubs in Spain and from Germany, despite only signing a new contract until 2022 in May.
The newspaper goes on to add, that whilst there is interest from numerous clubs, “insiders say Bournemouth’s bid is the best.”
Lerma can play central midfield, as a defensive-minded player, or at right back. Two positions that the Cherries have lacked options in recent months due to injuries and players dropping out of favour.
Over the following days, the link has been picked up by most outlets, both national and local.
Bournemouth closing in on Levante midfielder Jefferson Lerma.
£16 million bid made.
— Mark McAdam (@markmcadamtv) June 12, 2018
????@afcbournemouth have held talks with Levante over their Colombian midfielder Jefferson Lerma
No bid has been made yet for the 23-year-old, who's likely to cost around £16 million
But manager Eddie Howe is interested in the Colombian #afcb
— BBC Solent Sport (@solentsport) June 12, 2018
Sky Sports have added that AFC Bournemouth’s offer is double that of the best offer from the interested Bundesliga clubs.
Their report stated that “the fee could rise to more than £19m once add-ons are taken into account.”
“Several Bundesliga clubs are believed to be interested in Lerma but they are not willing to pay more than £8.8m, which is what they see as his market value.
“Bournemouth look set to pay twice that fee, such is their eagerness to sign the player.
Silent AFCB wrote…
Having read around, he sounds like exactly what we need (and plenty of other teams). Got to happen before the World Cup in case he has a stormer. – Join the conversation, click here.