CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe is expected to leave his team selection for tomorrow’s clash against Watford until the last minute due to the ongoing situation surrounding Lewis Grabban.
Striker Grabban has spent the past two days pondering his future after a bid from Championship rivals Brighton triggered a release clause in his contract.
The £1.1million offer was tabled late on Wednesday and came after a couple of days of intense speculation had indicated the Seagulls were preparing to swoop.
Leading goalscorer Grabban, who has netted 10 times in 24 league games this season, was informed about the bid and expressed a desire to speak to Brighton.
The 26-year-old was yesterday understood to have met Brighton officials in Cobham to discuss personal terms and to set the wheels in motion for a medical.
However, as no agreement was reached following lengthy discussions, Grabban was believed to have returned to Dorset with the deal remaining in the balance.
Since news of his release clause was made public, a host of other Championship clubs have been linked with Grabban including Leicester, Nottingham Forest, QPR and Reading.
Grabban, who joined Cherries in a £300,000 move from Rotherham in July 2012, was rewarded for his exploits with an improved contract just nine weeks ago.
The south Londoner, who extended his deal until June 2016, has been a pivotal figure for Cherries this season and has been starring in recent weeks as a lone frontman.
He has netted three times in Cherries’ past seven league games – including a penalty in a 1-1 draw at Brighton on New Year’s Day – and turned in a series of indefatigable displays.
Grabban, who came off the bench during Cherries’ FA Cup win over Burton on Tuesday, would have been a certain starter against the Hornets but for the transfer saga.
But having not trained for the past two days and with his future still up in the air, it remains to be seen whether Grabban will be involved against Watford at Dean Court.
When contacted by the Daily Echo just before going to press tonight, Cherries boss Howe confirmed he would be reviewing the situation ahead of kick-off.
Meanwhile, reports suggesting Cherries have tabled a bid for Cardiff City striker Joe Mason are understood to be wide of the mark.
The highly-rated 22-year-old, who was linked with a loan move to Dean Court in the summer, has been attracting interest from Brighton.