MIDFIELDER Joe Rothwell is currently undergoing a medical ahead of a potential loan switch to Cherries’ Championship neighbours Southampton, the Daily Echo understands.

So far this season, Rothwell has made a total of 13 appearances under Andoni Iraola, scoring once during Cherries’ EFL Cup victory over Stoke City.

The 29-year-old has made 11 Premier League appearances this term, starting the first three games of the season.

However, since the return of other midfielders from injury, Rothwell has dropped down the pecking order under Iraola, with his last eight top-flight appearances all coming off the bench.

His last appearance came off the bench in the 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest just before Christmas in a 20-minute cameo, with Rothwell also an unused substitute in Cherries’ FA Cup triumph over Queens Park Rangers last time out.

In total, Rothwell has played a total of 35 games for Cherries, featuring in 31 Premier League games.

Reportedly, there is no option or obligation for the move to be made permanent after the loan period.

If the move goes ahead as planned, Rothwell will hope to augment a Southampton squad aiming for promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt, following Saints’ relegation last term.

Russell Martin’s side are currently in third in the second tier, three points behind Ipswich Town in the final automatic promotion spot of second after 27 games played.

A 4-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday stretched Saints’ current unbeaten run to 19 league games without defeat.

Originally a target for Cherries during the 2022 January transfer window, Rothwell eventually arrived at Vitality Stadium in the following summer, joining on a free transfer from Blackburn Rovers.

The former Manchester United youth player signed a four-year deal on his arrival, which is set to expire at the end of the 2025/26 season.

There has been frequent loan business between the two sides in recent years.

Last season, current Saints club captain Jack Stephens spent the campaign on loan at Cherries, making 17 appearances, whilst in the 2020/21 season, veteran striker Shane Long also spent time on loan at Vitality Stadium.

If all goes to plan, Rothwell will be available for Southampton’s next fixture, when they travel to south Wales to face Swansea City in Championship action on Saturday, January 20.

Cherries are next in Premier League action when they host Liverpool at Dean Court on Sunday, January 21.