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AFC Bournemouth

Howe confident Arsenal-linked Fraser will stay with Bournemouth

02:08 GMT+3 30/07/2019
Ryan Fraser Bournemouth 2018-19
The Scottish winger has yet to sign a new contract with the Cherries, despite his current deal expiring next June

Eddie Howe is confident that Ryan Fraser will stay at Bournemouth, despite rumoured interest from Arsenal.

The Scottish international has been linked with a move to the Emirates this summer after an impressive 2018-19 campaign saw him score seven goals and register 14 assists for the Dorset side.

The 25-year-old, who joined the Cherries from Aberdeen for £400,000 in January 2013, has been a vital player in the club’s most successful chapter, helping them win promotion from League One, the Championship and stabilising themselves as a Premier League club.

Best used a left winger, Arsenal head coach Unai Emery reportedly earmarked Fraser as one of his summer transfer targets, before turning his attention to Lille's Nicolas Pepe, who seems set to join the Gunners.

His current contract with the Cherries expires next June, and despite no progress being made in extending his stay, Bournemouth boss Howe is confident the Scotsman will remain beyond the current transfer window.

"There had been no developments in terms of [contract discussions]. It goes in line with what I said earlier – we are very keen to keep our best players,” Howe told the Bournemouth Echo.

“I am confident that we can keep the squad together and keep adding players the other way to make us improve.”

Although Howe is reluctant to see Fraser depart, he understands why one of his star players is attracting interest from the Europa League finalists.

“I think it’s part and parcel of being a footballer at this level,” he went on.

“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.”

Bournemouth have signed three players this summer, all from Championship clubs.

Philip Billing joined from Huddersfield Town on Monday in a move reported to be worth £15 million ($18m). The midfielder, aged 23, had been at the Terriers for six years and played 27 times in the league last season.

Elsewhere, Lloyd Kelly and Jack Stacey have both been recruited from Bristol City and Luton Town, respectively.