Bournemouth are confident they can sign both John Terry and Jermain Defoe as free agents this summer to give Eddie Howe’s team a level of experience to add to a squad that has survived relatively comfortably in the Premier League for two seasons.
Howe has put Bournemouth in a position to sign established players having proved over the last two years that the club is a good destination for those at the beginning of their careers as well as those at the end.
The club’s style of football and location is attractive to both Terry and also Defoe who was a prolific 18-year-old goalscorer at Bournemouth on loan from West Ham in the 2000-2001 season.
During that season, Defoe played alongside Howe in the old Division Two, now League One, when the club finished seventh. Defoe, 34, is leaving relegated Sunderland on a free transfer and Bournemouth, who are prepared to pay competitive wages, are one of his more likely destinations with West Ham also interested.
Defoe and Terry, 36, would potentially be the club’s biggest earners with both likely to command weekly salaries in excess of £100,000 which would represent quite an outlay at a club that has never paid that level of salary before. Defoe is likely to want a contract lasting for more than one year.
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Terry, 36, has said he will carry on playing when he leaves Chelsea at the end of the season, and Bournemouth is also a club that suits him.
For the last two years, Howe has largely relied upon a defence often made up of players who have come up with Bournemouth from League One, including Steve Cook and Simon Francis who both joined the club when it was in the third tier.
Bournemouth inquired about taking Terry on loan in January when Nathan Ake was recalled by Antonio Conte from his loan spell at the Vitality Stadium.
The club are still feeling their way in the transfer market when it comes to the Premier League level and two of last season’s major signings, Jordon Ibe and Brad Smith from Liverpool have not made the impact that had been hoped.
It has been striker Josh King and midfielder Harry Arter who are finishing the season strongly and could be targets for bigger clubs this summer.