Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Everton are all believed to be interested in signing Scotland international Ryan Fraser, who has played his final game for AFC Bournemouth.
The 26-year-old’s current contract with the Cherries expires in 10 days time.
He has refused the option of signing a short-term contract to be available for the final nine games of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, which has suffered a three-month suspension due to the global Coronavirus pandemic.
Fraser could have featured against Crystal Palace this evening and Wolverhampton Wanderers on the 24th June, however, AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has announced that Fraser will not be included in the squad and is now no longer training with the club following Fraser’s decision to walk away from Dean Court.
Speaking to the media ahead of his sides seasons resumption, Howe was quoted by the Daily Echo as saying…
“…These are the most important games this football club has had in recent times and we need everybody in the same position mentally, fighting tooth and nail giving everything for the football club.
“And Ryan, due to his contractual situation, can’t commit to that.
“Two games for us wasn’t going to make a difference for us. We needed a nine-game commitment and, unfortunately, he couldn’t give that at this moment in time…”
Since joining AFC Bournemouth from Aberdeen seven-and-a-half years ago for an undisclosed fee reportedly in the region of £300,000, he has made 208 appearances for the club in all competitions.
He played a limited role during AFC Bournemouth’s promotion from League One in 2013, playing less than 100 minutes across five substitute appearances.
During AFC Bournemouth’s two seasons in the Championship, Fraser became more of a regular in the first team, playing 41 times in all competitions (23 league starts) as the Cherries finished 10th in the Championship.
He played fewer games during the historic 2014/15 Championship-winning campaign, with just 21 Championship appearances including just 6 starts. As AFC Bournemouth entered their first campaign in the top flight of English football, Fraser was farmed out on loan to the Tractor Boys as he spent an injury-plagued season with Ipswich Town, making just 18 appearances.
Fraser returned to the south coast in 2016 and he began to enjoy more and more opportunities in the Premier League, at first as an impact substitute and then more as a regular first-team starter, enjoying a season-long purple patch during the 2018/19 campaign where he scored 7 goals and claimed 14 assists.
His partnership with Callum Wilson saw the duo combine on 12 occasions, setting a new record for a 38 game Premier League season.
With one year remaining on his contract during the summer of 2019, Fraser found himself in the midst of a public falling out with the Cherries hierarchy.
Speculation mounted regarding a summer move for Fraser, but the Cherries reportedly received no bids and Fraser remained with the Cherries heading into the final year of his contract.
Fraser’s form dipped during the opening half of the season and the winger later admitted he “didn’t play for the team”, an admission that caused irreparable damage to his relationship with the Dean Court faithful.
His decision to not get his head down to fight for AFC Bournemouth’s Premier League survival has seen the Scot put out the final embers of his reputation on the south coast.
Howe said to the Daily Echo…
“I’m sad for him because he’s had a really good link with the supporters, they’ve really loved him in his time here and now, for it to end the way it has done, is uncomfortable for me.
“I’m disappointed for him that his legacy here will be around his departure, rather than the good things he did during his time.
Dating back before his public spat with AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake during the summer of 2019, Fraser has been linked with Arsenal, only for a report that he was set to snub Arsenal for Tottenham Hotspur.
However, later reports (via the Daily Mail) have suggested that Fraser believes his best option is to join Everton. This came as the Daily Star reported that Jose Mourinho’s interest in Fraser had “waned”.
The Times have reported that all three clubs aren’t interested in Ryan Fraser, with the Scottish winger wanting a deal worth £100,000-a-week. Instead, Fraser’s options could lie with West Ham United, Newcastle United, Watford and Crystal Palace, depending on their Premier League futures.
If you listen to the interview, Eddie Howe says Fraser “unfortunately couldn’t at this time” commit to 9 games, only 2. Eddie Howe is always extremely careful not to criticise players or to ever suggest there is anything “personal”. But I fail to believe Eddie Howe would have included Fraser in training had he not been confident a short extension would have been possible. Witness what happened to Ibe and others before him – when you’re out you’re out.
And that’s the issue for me. In whole or part, our training set up over the past 2-3 weeks is likely to have been structured with a particular formation and squad in mind for the palace game. That may or may not have assumed a starting position for Fraser. I hope it didn’t. But if it did, there might now need to be an emergency rethink and that’s a poor outcome. – Join the conversation, click here.