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Cherries: Transfer window quality not quantity for boss Howe
Howe is vowing to keep faith with the majority of his existing squad and will resist the temptation to make wholesale changes once the sales start tomorrow.
Cherries, bankrolled by wealthy Russian businessman Maxim Demin, are expected to be big players during the window and have already been linked with a host of possible targets.
However, having presided over a 15-match unbeaten run since he returned to the club in October, Howe feels his squad needs fine tuning rather than a mass overhaul.
Dean Court old boys Marvin Bartley and Jason Pearce have both been the subject of speculation suggesting they could be on their way back to Dorset.
And while Bartley, who is struggling to hold down a place at Burnley, could feasibly be a loan option for Cherries, a move for Leeds defender Pearce would seem unlikely.
Cherries have also been linked with out-of-favour Stoke midfielder Rory Delap, strikers Leon Clarke, James Beattie and Sam Vokes and Leyton Orient goalkeeper Ryan Allsop.
Newspaper reports last week claimed Millwall and Bristol City were keen on Cherries striker Lewis Grabban, while Rotherham boss Steve Evans is a firm admirer of frontman Matt Tubbs.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Echo, Howe said: “As always, our policy will be not to comment until deals are done. When you are trying to negotiate and bring in players, the last thing you want to do is start talking publicly about any potential targets. You don’t say anything because you want to get the best deal possible for the club and out of respect to the team you are trying to buy from.
“I will not be commenting on any speculation. I will let everyone else do the guessing and the wondering. From our side, we will not be talking about a deal until it is done or, if indeed, there are any deals to be done.
“The squad has done very well and I think we would only really want to add absolute quality. Out of recognition of how well the players have done, we will not be adding numbers just for the sake of it.”
Howe, who saw Cherries climb into the League One play-off picture following Saturday’s 3-0 win over Crawley, added: “You are always looking to try to make your squad better, whether you are winning or losing. You have always got to try to look for players who could potentially improve your squad. That is difficult for us at the moment because the players are performing so well.
“But we certainly do have an eye on things out there. I am not saying it is a closed shop and we will not do any business but we will not be bringing in a load of players.”
Loan striker Lee Barnard is expected to return to parent club Southampton once his agreement expires following Cherries’ trip to Brentford tomorrow, while the probable departure of Wes Thomas would free up further funds for Howe.