Bournemouth have reportedly met Levante's asking price of €30m for Colombian midfielder Jefferson Lerma, and could complete a deal to sign him before the end of the transfer window next week.
Lerma made 26 appearances for the Spanish club in the 2017/18 season, and transfer speculation has been rife this summer, with Bournemouth leading the race. Although early bids for the midfielder had been rejected, it's understood that Bournemouth are now in advanced talks.
According to Levante-EMV, the ball is now in Levante's court, with the Cherries awaiting a response from the Spanish outfit. It's understood that Bournemouth would be willing to triple Lerma's current wages in a bid to lure the Colombian to the south coast.
Despite Bournemouth's continued interest, Levante president Quico Catalan has remained staunchly against selling the highly rated midfielder, though it's unknown if his position will change now that Bournemouth have increased their offer.
Sky Sports News have also reported that the Cherries are nearing a deal with Levante for the defensive midfielder, suggesting that the two clubs are close to an agreement.
The move would be positive for Bournemouth, a club who aren't renowned for being big players in the transfer market. Whilst it would be a statement of intent from the Cherries, it would also go some way to addressing some of the defensive deficiencies the club seems to suffer from every season.
With Lerma sitting in front of the back line, Bournemouth's defence may begin to look more resolute.