Bournemouth confirm Benik Afobe deal agreed with Wolves


Bournemouth have reached a deal with Wolves to sign striker Benik Afobe.

Boss Eddie Howe confirmed after their 2-1 FA Cup win at Birmingham that the Cherries have finalised an agreement for the 22-year-old, who is due to have a medical this weekend according to Press Association Sport.

Afobe is reported to have held talks with Bournemouth on Friday and Howe hopes to have him available for Tuesday's Premier League visit of West Ham.

"A deal has been agreed," Howe told reporters. "There are still hurdles for us to overcome but we hope he'll sign in time for Tuesday night.

"He'll bring strength, power and hopefully goals. We'll be excited to see him for Bournemouth if the deal gets completed."

Wolves boss Kenny Jackett also confirmed the deal, saying the club had reluctantly accepted the bid because the former Arsenal player wanted to return to the Premier League.

"Benik Afobe is in talks with Bournemouth about a potential transfer," he said. "We have accepted their bid. The fee is undisclosed but it is a significant amount.

"Of course we will miss him -- he's our top scorer and you only have to look at what he has done for us in a short time here. Finding those forwards who make a difference is a tough thing, that's why you have to work hard to keep them."

Afobe joined Wolves for £2 million from Arsenal only last January and has scored 23 goals in 48 games for the club. He has 10 in 27 outings this season for the Championship side.

Glenn Murray's late winner sent the Cherries through to the fourth round, and Howe defended his team selection after making 11 changes.

Lee Tomlin's penalty cancelled out Michael Morrison's opener while Blues' James Vaughan skied a second-half spot-kick.

The Cherries, 16th in the Premier League, host West Ham on Tuesday before welcoming relegation rivals Norwich on Saturday and Howe wanted to rest his big stars.

"When there's a Premier League game in three days' time we wanted to protect the majority of our squad while still putting out a team who could win the game," he said. "It's a delicate balance. By no means did we pick a team to do anything other than win but with Tuesday in mind, it was wise to make the changes we did.

"We're very pleased to have got through. It was a tough game, Gary [Rowett] has got Birmingham very well organised. It was no surprise to us we had to work very hard to win."

Howe gave defender Jordan Lee his debut while also naming Jordan Green, who was stacking supermarket shelves and playing for Banbury last year, on the bench.

And the second-string Cherries survived a scare as Vaughan missed his penalty with the scores locked at 1-1 before Jacques Maghoma hit the post.

Howe added: "Our penalty was one of those which could be a 50-50 call. I have seen them given.

"I thought their penalty was quite predictable in a sense that the stick the referee was getting meant that any type of contact he was going to give one. I thought Eunan [O'Kane] had pulled out of the challenge."