AFC Bournemouth midfielder Jefferson Lerma is the subject of transfer interest from Valencia, according to Spanish publication Marca.
The 26-year-old joined the Cherries following the 2018 World Cup, arriving at Dean Court for a club-record £25 million fee from Levante in Spain.
Lerma has been a regular for Bournemouth in the past three seasons and surprisingly remained with the club when they were relegated to the Championship, and showed remarkable consistency by picking up 12 bookings in the league last season – the same amount as he did in his first two campaigns.
He hasn’t been without controversy during his time at the club though and he will have to serve a six-match ban at the start of this coming season after he was found guilty of biting Josh Windass of Sheffield Wednesday.
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But he could get around that if Valencia decide to pursue a move for him, with the La Liga side interested in a loan deal without an option to buy, according to Marca.
They reportedly cannot afford to bring the Colombian in on a permanent basis but they are willing to take him for the season, which could boost his transfer value in the summer of 2022 should he have a successful campaign in Spain.
Out of all the players that I was surprised that Bournemouth kept hold of last summer apart from David Brooks, Lerma was at the top of the list.
There’s a reason as to why Bournemouth paid £25 million for him – you won’t get goals from Lerma but what you will get is a tough-tackling midfielder who also has technical ability.
He formed part of a double pivot towards the end of last season with Ben Pearson and that duo could flourish if they are given the chance to have a full season together.
But new head coach Scott Parker might have his own ideas and getting Lerma’s wage off the books for a season and replacing him – perhaps with the recently linked Matt Grimes of Swansea – may be tempting.