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Lerma set for Premier League move as Bournemouth make £16m bid

AFC Bournemouth look set to make Levante’s Jefferson Lerma their first summer signing after making a £16 million bid for the midfielder.

Sky Sports understand that a deal for Lerma, who is in Colombia’s World Cup squad, could rise to £19 million when add-ons are taken into account.

23 year-old Lerma signed a permanent deal at the Ciutat de València in 2016 having played for the squad on loan the season before. Although the club finished bottom of La Liga that year, Lerma impressed for the side, where he featured 33 times, scoring once.

This was enough for then manager Juan Ramón López Muñiz to sign the player from Colombian side Atlético Huila. The following season Levante became Segunda champions in the first time in asking and have remained in the premier division since.

Since his permanent move, Lerma has played 56 times for Levante, scoring twice. He was left out of the side towards the end of last season as the club fielded offers.

In January, Lerma was involved in an incident with Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas. It was thought that Aspas had used a racial slur towards Lerma in Celta’s 1-0 win over the Valencia side, an accusation the Spanish striker quickly denied on the club’s website after the match.

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Sky Sports believe that a number of Bundesliga teams are also interested in signing Lerma, but are not willing to pay more than £8.8 million for the player, which is what they see as his market value.

The Cherries have already featured in this summer’s transfer window, with striker Benik Afobe leaving the Vitality Stadium for a permanent move to Premiership newcomers Wolverhampton Wanderers. Since the £10 million transfer, Congolese striker Afobe has since moved to Stoke City on a six month loan deal.

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