CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe believes striker Wes Thomas is facing “a big moment” in his career as he contemplates his next move.
Thomas looks set to leave Dean Court during the transfer window after failing to hold down a regular place over the past 18 months.
The 26-year-old has been involved in the majority of Howe’s matchday squads this season but has been restricted to just two starts and 10 appearances from the bench.
Thomas, signed permanently from Crawley two years ago following a productive loan spell, is out of contract with Cherries at the end of the season.
The frontman has already been told he will not be offered a new deal and has been granted an opportunity to find another club.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “Wes has six months left on his deal here and has a desire to play regular football.
“At the moment, I can’t offer him that guarantee and, because of where he is with his contract situation, I think he will probably move, whether on loan or permanently.
“It has been difficult to get him much game-time due to the form of our front players. Wes will feel he needs to earn himself a new contract at the end of this season and, unfortunately, that will not be with us.
“We have had a number of clubs contacting us regarding his availability and although things will have to be agreed with us, it will be very much up to Wes to decide where his future lies.”
Thomas, reportedly the subject of a six-figure bid from Swindon Town recently, is understood to be a target for a number of other League One clubs and a couple in the Championship.
He made an encouraging start to his Cherries career by netting 10 times in his first 18 league games, his only other goal for the club coming during a 2-2 draw at Stevenage in March 2012, Paul Groves’s first match in charge.
Thomas netted nine goals during loan spells with Portsmouth, Blackpool and Birmingham last season and looked set to join the Tangerines a year ago before boss Michael Appleton jumped ship for Blackburn.
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