Bournemouth chairman Jeff Mostyn has insisted that Eddie Howe has a long-term future at the club, amid speculation that Arsenal are lining him up as Arsene Wenger’s successor.
The 38-year-old has done a hugely impressive job with the Cherries, initially taking charge in 2008, before returning in 2012 following a stint with Burnley.
Having helped the club go from League Two football to the Premier League, he has reportedly been linked as Wenger’s replacement with the Frenchman’s current deal with the Gunners expiring at the end of the season.
However, Mostyn has wasted little time in ensuring that Arsenal are fully aware of his stance on the situation, as although he expects Howe to move to a bigger club eventually, he is confident that he will remain for a few more years yet as he has unfinished business at the Vitality Stadium.
“We have a man of immense talent and any man of talent, whatever business you are in, is always going to be sought after. We see that very much as a compliment,” he told talkSPORT.
“But Eddie is a Bournemouth boy through and through. He has been with the football club since he was ten. There is unfinished business. He wants to ensure that if and when he does move on he will leave a legacy. A legacy that will ensure AFC Bournemouth are a Premier League side, not a side that is aspiring to retain its position every year.
“He has made it clear that over the next two or three years hopefully we can establish ourselves as a thoroughbred Premier League side and only then would he consider moving on.”
Whether or not Arsenal want to make a move at the end of this season remains to be seen, as there is still the obvious possibility that Wenger will stay on.
Much depends on what happens this year though, as if the Gunners fail in their bid to win the Premier League again, it will only serve to pile further pressure on the French tactician as he has already come under intense scrutiny from certain sections of supporters.
Howe has undoubtedly impressed with Bournemouth, but the step up to Arsenal also comes with its own set of questions.
Is he capable of becoming an elite coach and challenging the likes of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte? Can he attract top players to a club the size of Arsenal?
Those questions will have to be considered by the Arsenal hierarchy if they are indeed considering a move for the Cherries boss, as ultimately they will have to get it right to avoid a period of uncertainty and instability given how long Wenger has been at the club and so might be better off targeting a proven world-class tactician at the highest level.