Bournemouth are prepared to make a significant splash in the transfer window by signing Jermain Defoe, Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake.
Another impressive campaign has seen the Cherries secure a third successive stint in the Premier League, and they could even finish as high as eighth if they can beat dethroned Leicester City on the final day of the season and both West Bromwich Albion and Southampton fail to win. This would be a remarkable achievement for Eddie Howe, but still he wants to progress further.
It has been reported that the Bournemouth boss wants to offer Defoe the chance of a second spell at Dean Court. The England star scored 18 goals in 29 matches for the club during a loan spell in 2000-01, when they were in the third-tier of English football. The 35-year-old is available on a free transfer following Sunderland’s relegation, and is sure to have a queue of admirers.
Crystal Palace and former club West Ham United are both interested in the striker, but it is doubtful they could match what the Cherries are reportedly prepared to offer. According to The Sun, the South Coast club are willing to pay Defoe £115,000-per-week over the course of a three-year contract, meaning he would pocket a cool £18million if he accepted the switch.
Howe is also keen to take Ake back after the defender impressed on loan earlier this season. The defender made a dozen appearances in all competitions in the first half of the campaign, before Antonio Conte recalled him to Chelsea in January. Although he has only played five times for the champions, they may yet rely on him next season when they will return to the UEFA Champions League.
The 22-year-old Dutchman isn’t the only player the Bournemouth boss would like to lure from Stamford Bridge, with Begovic another reported target. Rated as one of the best goalkeepers in the country the Bosnian is nonetheless playing second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois, and Howe would be willing to offer the 29-year-old regular first team football at the expense of Artur Boruc.
Whilst Defoe would arrive on a free transfer – albeit with a staggeringly high pay package – Howe would have to use a large part of his budget to prise Ake and Begovic from Chelsea. It is being reported that a fee of £30million may be tabled in an attempt to persuade Conte to let the pair leave, as the Dean Court outfit continue to build a squad to reflect their growing status.