BOSS Scott Parker revealed there was “definitely an interest” in defender Steve Cook and insisted he “didn’t want to put him in a compromising position” by playing him at Queens Park Rangers.

Parker revealed last week there was “a chance” the Cherries club captain could exit Vitality Stadium during the January transfer window.

Cook, who is out of contract with the Dorset club in the summer, was not part of the matchday party which sealed a 1-0 win over the Rs in west London.

Asked why Cook was left out of the group Parker replied: “He is absent from the squad at the moment, Steve.

“Firstly, I am very respectful of Steve’s situation. I spoke to Steve yesterday – there’s maybe a possibility he may be leaving in this window, due to his situation.

“I didn’t feel that it would probably be best for Steve, for him to be involved. On his side, he thought that and I probably agreed, so just made that decision.

“Steve has been immense since I have come in here, probably at first not being involved and in and around it has been difficult for him.

“Professionally of the man, he then came in and did very well but at this present moment in time, due to his situation, just didn’t want to put him in a compromising position in any way.

“That’s not to say he’s going to leave, of course not, but while the window is open in literally a matter of days, and with his current situation what may be the case – we made that decision.”

Club captain Cook has been with the Dorset club for more than a decade, first joining Cherries on loan from Brighton in October 2011.

A key figure in Cherries’ monumental rise to the Premier League, the Hastings-born centre-back has played 387 times for the Dorset club – 168 of them coming at Premier League level.

Quizzed on whether there had been any interest in the defender – and whether he expected a deal to happen quickly – Parker replied: “There definitely could be.

“There is definitely an interest, that is what I am being told from Steve, so that’s where it is.”