BOSS Eddie Howe has told potential suitors that Matt Tubbs remains part of his Cherries plans by insisting: “We don’t want to lose him.”

Striker Tubbs has seen his first-team opportunities limited this season having scored four goals in five starts and 12 substitute appearances.

Cherries’ club record signing last January, Tubbs has a proven record which could spark interest when the transfer window opens today.

Rotherham United, managed by Tubbs’s former boss Steve Evans, and Crawley Town are both understood to be looking for a forward.

Evans is a known admirer of Tubbs and has previously failed with several bids to reunite with the man he worked with successfully at Crawley.

He could revive his interest in the Verwood-raised frontman, while the Broadfield Stadium legend might also appeal to Crawley.

However, Cherries manager Howe wants to keep the 28-year-old and says he will get chances to shine as the season progresses.

Discussing the possibility of interest in Tubbs, Howe told the Daily Echo: “I am sure he will attract attention because he is a proven goalscorer. Wherever he has played, he has scored goals.

“Tubbsy is very much part of our plans and our squad and we don’t want to lose him.

“At the moment, Lewis (Grabban) and Brett (Pitman) have got the shirts and have |performed very well but I am |sure Matt, along with others, will get opportunities.”

Tubbs, who has scored twice in two starts and seven substitute appearances under Howe, produced a lively cameo display against Crawley on Saturday.

Speaking ahead of today’s clash with League One promotion rivals Brentford at Griffin Park (3pm), Howe added: “Whenever he has come on, he has performed well. He is certainly valued by me and the players.

“His attitude has been first class. I would be desperate to keep him.”

Two strikers that could both soon head through the Dean Court exit, meanwhile, are Lee Barnard and Wes Thomas.

Barnard is expected to officially return to parent club Southampton when his loan deal expires after the Brentford game.

Championship outfit Blackpool, who currently have Thomas on loan, look likely to launch a bid to sign him permanently during January.