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Bournemouth confirm Jefferson Lerma departure

Bournemouth confirm Jefferson Lerma departure
© Reuters
Bournemouth confirm the departure of midfielder Jefferson Lerma after spending five years with the South-coast club.

Bournemouth have confirmed that midfielder Jefferson Lerma will leave the club this summer.

Lerma joined the Cherries in the summer of 2018 from Levante, and he has gone on to make 184 appearances for the club, registering 12 goals and eight assists.

Bournemouth were keen to extend his stay on the South coast, but Lerma reportedly rejected multiple contract offers.

The Colombia international will now leave the club on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of June.

Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake told the club's official website: "Jefferson has made an outstanding contribution to the club over the past five years, but during contract negotiations he has made it clear to us that he seeks a new challenge.

Jefferson Lerma celebrates scoring for Bournemouth on April 30, 2023© Reuters

"As both a player and a person, Jefferson has been a key part of our success. While we are naturally disappointed that we won't see him in an AFC Bournemouth shirt again next season, we thank him for his unwavering commitment and wish him all the best."

Lerma addressed his imminent departure following Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Everton on the final day of the Premier League season.

"Be it my last game or not, I feel a lot of gratitude to Bournemouth," the 28-year-old told the Daily Echo.

"It has been five very wonderful years. I have a huge love for them and wherever I go, I will carry them in my heart. They will always be with me."

Jefferson Lerma in action for Bournemouth on August 6, 2022© Reuters

The Colombian is widely expected to join fellow Premier League club Crystal Palace, but he was reluctant to comment on his next destination following the defeat to Everton.

"These rumours started a while ago, not only with Crystal Palace", Lerma said. These rumours started a while ago, not only with Crystal Palace.

"I won't respond due to my commitment to Bournemouth. Let's wait and see what happens."

Lerma, who has 33 caps for Colombia, has made 100 Premier League appearances as a Bournemouth player, scoring eight goals and providing three assists.

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