CHERRIES are closing in on a deal to sign free agent Joe Rothwell, the Daily Echo understands.

Rothwell has been heavily linked with a move to the south coast since the turn of the year.

The midfielder, formerly of Blackburn Rovers, is understood to have come close to joining Cherries during the January transfer window.

He remained at Rovers until the end of the season, with his contract set to expire at the end of this month. 

Rothwell has not yet been booked in for a medical, but it is understood a deal is close to being agreed.

A former Manchester United youngster, Rothwell joined Blackburn from Oxford United in June 2018.

The 27-year-old scored three goals and provided 10 assists from 41 Championship appearances last season.

That took his overall tally of matches to 161 for the Ewood Park side.

Cherries are yet to make any signings since clinching their return to the Premier League.