The 22-year-old was signed by Howe during his first spell at Dean Court and made 42 appearances during a youth loan from Spurs in 2010-11.
He lined up in both legs of Cherries’ League One play-off semi-final against Huddersfield and the club had been keen to sign him permanently before he penned a new deal with the North London club.
At the time, Smith, who progressed through the ranks at White Hart Lane, had also been linked with other clubs – with Howe’s Burnley among them.
Smith, who served Wycombe and Torquay on loan in 2009-10, has also had spells with League One outfit MK Dons and in the Championship with Leeds, Millwall and Derby.
He made 10 appearances for the Rams this season before his loan spell at Pride Park was prematurely cut short by mutual agreement in November.
Signed on a season-long loan by previous Derby boss Nigel Clough, Smith played three times under Steve McClaren before losing his place to Andre Wisdom, who had arrived on loan from Liverpool.
News that Smith could be a target for Cherries was first hinted at by the Daily Echo on our Twitter feed when Tim Sherwood was appointed Spurs head coach before Christmas.
Sherwood, who has been on the backroom staff at Spurs since 2008, had been instrumental in Smith joining Cherries in September 2010 and has remained close friends with Howe since their time together at Portsmouth.
Speculation the right-back could be returning to the Dorset club resurfaced last week when Sky Sports linked him with a loan move to Cherries.
However, while the Daily Echo understands there could be some substance to the rumours, sources suggest any deal for Smith would more than likely be permanent.
Meanwhile, Cherries are this week expected to complete the signing of teenage striker Josh O’Hanlon from League of Ireland outfit Longford Town.
The 18-year-old Dubliner is understood to have impressed Howe and his staff during a recent trial at Dean Court with the two clubs last week believed to have agreed a fee.
O’Hanlon netted seven times in 30 appearances for Longford as they finished runners-up to Athlone Town in Division One of the League of Ireland.
He also scored twice in a trial game for Manchester United and had been tracked by Crystal Palace, Burnley, Reading and Peterborough.
Although Cherries have yet to comment on O’Hanlon, a statement on the Longford website read: “Longford Town FC wish to announce that they have concluded an agreement with AFC Bournemouth to transfer Josh O’Hanlon for an undisclosed fee.”
And O’Hanlon, posting on his Twitter feed, has been thanking well-wishers for their good luck messages, explaining that Bournemouth is on the “south coast” and telling his followers he would be “heading over on Tuesday”.
When contacted by the Daily Echo, Cherries boss Howe politely declined to comment on either Smith or O’Hanlon.
- GRAB today’s Daily Echo for your bumper 16-page FA Cup special looking back on Cherries’ FA Cup date with Liverpool including photos, report and in-depth match reaction from Dean Court.