Bournemouth to pluck duo from relegation obscurity

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Eddie Howe has guided Bournemouth to survival in the club’s debut top flight campaign and the Cherries manager is set to pile further misery on some of the clubs finishing lower in the league with a double transfer swoop this summer.

Howe has one eye on the relegation scrap and has identified Aston Villa’s Jordan Veretout and Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe as potential targets.

France U21 international Veretout has already been consigned to the Championship and with the Villans looking to cut their wage bill the 23-year-old midfielder is likely to be made available.

Veretout impressed alongside the likes of Geoffrey Kondogbia and Paul Pogba when clinching the World Under-20 Championship in 2013 and would provide competition for places at Dean Court.

Defoe, meanwhile, has been in electric form since joining the Black Cats, netting 17 goals in all competitions.

Howe played alongside Defoe during the forward’s record-breaking loan spell on the south coast and should Sunderland fail to beat the drop the former team-mates are likely to be reunited, with Tokelo Rantie and Glenn Murray potentially making way.

The Cherries are next in action at home to West Brom and go into the game as 10/11 favourites, with the draw on at 12/5 and the Baggies priced up 14/5.

Strikers Callum Wilson, Lewis Grabban and Joshua King will be out to prove they can be the star man in the Cherries’ attack but all three could fall down the pecking if Defoe secures a return to the seaside town where he first made his name.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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