Exclusive: West Ham battle Palace, Leicester as quality Bournemouth star nears free-transfer exit

Dominic Solanke and Jefferson Lerma celebrate a goal for Bournemouth

Bournemouth are facing a battle to hang on to the services of Jefferson Lerma this summer, TEAMtalk understands.

The 28-year-old Colombian midfielder is out-of-contract on June 30 and eligible for a free-transfer move away. The Cherries are keen for the 33-time international to stay and are keen to extend his stay at the Vitality.

Indeed, he has been a virtual ever present for Bournemouth since arriving from Levante in summer 2018. Moving for a club-record €30m, he has made 180 appearances for the club. Three of those seasons have been in the Premier League, with a further two in the Championship.

However, with his deal due to expire this summer, we can reveal that Lerma is exploring his options.

Indeed, sources have told us that Ligue 1 duo Nice and Lille are keen on his signature. There is also interest from Spain with Real Betis and Villarreal both exploring possible deals to bring him back to Spain.

But there are options in England too. And we can reveal that West Ham – in the market for a Declan Rice successor – are among those keen.

They are far from the only Premier League side, keen, however. And Crystal Palace and Fulham are also looking to lure Lerma to London this summer.

In addition, both Leicester and Nottingham Forest all also keen. Their prospects, however, lie entirely on Premier League survival.

And while he could yet be convinced to stay by Gary O’Neil, it seems Lerma’s time at the Vitality Stadium will be coming to an end this summer.

Should he depart, he will become the second Cherries star to leave on a free. Indeed, they have already lost Jordan Zemura, who has agreed a move to Udinese.

READ MORE ~ Transfer Gossip: West Ham name their price for Rice as Arsenal prepare for talks