Bournemouth agree £25million fee for Jefferson Lerma
Lerma will become the Charries’ third signing of the summer.
Bournemouth have agreed a club-record £25million fee to sign Colombia star Jefferson Lerma from Levante, Press Association Sport understands.
The Cherries are ready to top the £20million paid to prise Nathan Ake from Chelsea last summer to land defensive midfielder Lerma.
Lerma is understood to be set to travel to the south coast to undergo a medical and discuss personal terms, with Bournemouth also needing to secure a work permit.
The 23-year-old shone at the summer’s World Cup in Russia, and is now in line to become Bournemouth’s third off-season signing.
The Cherries have already recruited Spanish left-back Diego Rico from Leganes and Wales forward David Brooks from Sheffield United.
Lerma will be expected to add steel to Bournemouth’s midfield options, with boss Eddie Howe keen on recruiting a destructive player to add contrast to his resources.
Bournemouth cruised past Marseille 5-2 in a high-scoring pre-season friendly at Dean Court on Saturday, as preparations intensify ahead of their Premier League opener against Cardiff on August 11.
Lerma’s likely signing could prove the end of Bournemouth’s summer transfer business, though Howe and the club will doubtless continue to scour for new recruits.
Howe has reiterated several times that this summer has been his toughest yet in terms of recruitment.
“The summer transfer window has been tough, I will say that; it has been difficult with the World Cup and the window shutting earlier,” said Howe.
“It’s been different from last year, and we’ve found it harder to bring the players in we want.
“I’d like to think that once the window closes that will be us very secure, and then have the squad to work with until January.
“We’re very pleased with what we’ve done so far in the transfer market, we’re very pleased with Rico and Brooks, so we’re happy with that.
“We’ve tried to create competition for places and improve the squad. Diego’s a very talented footballer and from the short time he’s been with us we’ve seen what he can bring.
“I think David has all the attributes to do well in the Premier League as well; I’m really excited about his future.”