Bournemouth target Jefferson Lerma hands in transfer request

Jefferson Lerma has handed in a transfer request at Levante after a significant bid from Bournemouth was rejected, Sky sources understand.

The 23-year-old is disappointed he is being denied the opportunity to fulfil his ambition of playing in the Premier League, according to sources close to the deal.

Lerma signed a new contract in May with a release clause of £53.5m and it was thought Levante would be prepared to do business at around half of that fee. Bournemouth value him at closer to £18m.

Lerma was part of Colombia’s World Cup squad, featuring in all four of their matches in Russia, including the last-16 defeat on penalties to England.

Predominantly a defensive midfielder. who can also play at right-back, Lerma made 28 appearances for Levante last season as they finished 15th in La Liga.

He moved to Spain in the summer of 2015 from Atletico Huila in his native Colombia.