AFC Bournemouth look set to cash in academy graduate Sam Surridge in a £5.5 million deal that will see the striker move to Championship rivals Stoke.
Surridge is believed to be pushing for the move according to reports from the Daily Echo, which will see the striker move North in search of regular first team football.
The former England under 21 international has made 42 appearances for the Dorset club, scoring seven goals in his time on the South coast but is not willing to spend another season playing understudy to Dominic Solanke.
Born in Slough but raised in Ferndown, the 23-year-old grew up a Bournemouth fan and rose through the ranks at Vitality Stadium and made his Cherries debut against Arsenal in the Premier League in February 2019.
Last season, Surridge played 29 times under three different head coaches, scoring four goals as Bournemouth missed out on promotion after losing to Brentfoird in the playoffs.
The deal represents good value for a player who is a product of the academy but many Bournemouth fans would rather see one of their own remain at the club, however, with Surridge keen to to play more first team football and not be second string to the more established Solanke this represent a good move in the young man’s career.
The club will need to seek a replacement and Peterborough’s Jonson Clarke-Harris is the frontrunner to do just that. The 27-year-old striker has been on Bournemouth’s radar for a while with The Posh’s director of football, Barry Fry saying “Bournemouth were the most persistent” in trying to pry Clarke-Harris away in January.
While it was neither confirmed nor denied that the Cherries made a bid earlier this year, Peterborough did turn down offers for their star man – and based on those comments Bourenmouth were likely to have been one of them.
The Leicester born striker had a prolific season last year, scoring 31 times in 45 appearances as Peterborough finished second, clinching promotion back to the Championship.
Initially it had seemed that Scottish champions Rangers were leading the race to sign Clarke-Harris – with Steven Gerrard’s side the striker’s first choice – but no approach has been made and with the Scottish season now underway that offer may never materialise.
Interest has been shown by Sheffield United and West Brom but at this stage Bournemouth seem the most interested and with the imminent departure of Surridge they will be looking to do a deal quickly.
Clarke-Harris is believed to be valued somewhere between £4 and £5 million which would mean the funds raised from the sale of Surridge would cover that expense and not make a dent in the coffers at Vitality Stadium.
Bournemouth have a habit of being shrewd in the transfer market and this deal would represent some savvy business for a player who has proven himself at League One, with over 70 goals in under 200 appearances in the division, whilst also having Championship experience from his Rotherham days.