Bournemouth are reported to be planning a move for Colombian midfielder Jefferson Lerma. The 23-year-old, who currently plays for Spanish side Levante, is set to feature at the upcoming World Cup finals in Russia and could become the Cherries first signing of the summer.
There has been little buzz around the Vitality Stadium since the beginning of the summer transfer window last month, but that could all change over the next few days, with reports that Bournemouth are close to landing one of their top transfer targets.
According to sources within the club, the Cherries have put forward a bid of £16m for Levante’s Jefferson Lerma, which could rise to £19m with add-ons.
Lerma began his professional career at Colombian club Atletico Huila, rising up the youth ranks before becoming a regular starter in 2013. During the 2015/16 season, Lerma was sent on loan to La Liga side Levante, where he featured in 33 matches. Following the successful loan spell, Levante opted to sign Lerma on a permanent basis, securing a €600,000 deal for the Colombian that would keep him at the club until 2020.
Nicknamed ‘The Beast’, Lerma is a powerful central midfielder, who is also comfortable playing in a deeper role or at right-back. During the 2017/18 season, the 23-year-old made a total of 26 league appearance for Levante, providing one assist. Lerma’s key strengths lay in his defensive capabilities, making a number of important blocks and interceptions during Levante’s last campaign. He is also excellent in the air, winning a high number of aerial duels and providing an attacking threat from set-pieces.
Lerma broke into the Colombian nation team in 2017 and has since made five appearances for his country. The midfielder was recently selected for Jose Pekerman’s 23-man squad for Russia 2018, that includes a host of other youth prospects including Davinson Sanchez and Yerry Mina.
In other news, Eddie Howe is rumoured to have his sights set on Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The Englishman is reported to be “preparing to fight for his place” at Goodison Park, but with new manager Marco Silva hoping to add attacking options to his squad over the summer, Calvert-Lewin could be tempted by a move to the Vitality.