EDDIE Howe has described as “unwelcome and unwanted” a substantial double bid from West Ham for Cherries stars Callum Wilson and Matt Ritchie.

Howe, who declined to reveal the sum involved, was annoyed at the timing and confirmed it had been tabled by their Premier League rivals on Monday night.

Boss Howe, who bought both players for a combined initial fee of £2.5m, said the offer had been rejected and was adamant Cherries “do not need to sell”.

When asked by the Daily Echo whether the rumoured figure of £25m for the pair had been accurate, Howe said it had not. The Echo understands the amount was closer to £20m.

Both Wilson and Ritchie featured as Cherries rounded off their maiden campaign in the top flight with a 3-1 defeat at Manchester United tonight.

Howe said: “We had a bid yesterday evening. The disappointing thing from my perspective is why it came in the day before a game.

“It was our last game of the season and they had all summer to bid for our players. I don’t understand that.

“They are two players in the squad who were due to play and there was a lot of speculation around their futures. I thought that was bizarre. The bid was rejected and we have no intention to sell.”

Howe added: “We don’t need to sell. We have a really ambitious owner and want to try to improve our squad, not weaken it. I think that is the clear message from us.

“We are trying desperately to move this team forward and are looking at it the other way. We want to bring in new recruits to strengthen what is already a good group. That is the summer we hope to have.”

Cherries paid an initial fee of around £2m when they signed Wilson from Coventry two years ago.

Leading goalscorer as Howe’s team won the Championship last season, Wilson spent most of this term on the sidelines due to a serious knee injury.

But he still finished with five league goals – including a hat-trick against West Ham in Cherries’ 4-3 win at Upton Park in August.

Ritchie, meanwhile, has proved to be one of the biggest bargains in recent seasons having cost just £500,000 from Swindon in January 2013.

The 26-year-old netted 15 times as Cherries won promotion last season and has gone on to win international honours with Scotland, scoring three goals in eight appearances.