CHERRIES officials have today moved swiftly to scotch speculation linking Harry Arter with a failed £5million bid from West Ham.

A report in The Sun claimed the Hammers had tabled the offer for the 27-year-old but suggested Cherries would want more than "twice as much" for Arter who cost the club £4,000 from non-league Woking in 2010.

However, a club spokesperson said there was "absolutely no truth" to the story, adding that the Vitality Stadium outfit had "not received any bids".

Arter, who was snapped up by boss Eddie Howe during his first spell as manager at Dean Court, signed a lucrative four-year deal in the summer.

A key figure in Cherries’ rise from the depths of League One, Arter was crowned supporters’ player of the year when they clinched promotion to the top flight in 2014-15.

Although injury and a dip in form have seen him restricted to 11 starts in the Premier League this season, he is an integral part of Howe's squad.

Arter made his 250th appearance for Cherries in the defeat by Burnley at the end of November – with 196 of them having come under Howe.

Asked by the Daily Echo recently about reports linking him with both West Ham and Crystal Palace, the Republic of Ireland international said: “It was a bit of a surprise. I haven’t heard anything and am just going about my normal business.

“You have to ignore these things because it is the only thing you can do. I am contracted to this club and my full focus is on AFC Bournemouth.

“I have been in the game long enough to know things like this happen and players get linked with clubs.

“I signed a four-year deal in the summer and have got my head down and concentrated on trying to stay in the team.

“My focus is purely on trying to get positive results for us and nothing else.”

And speaking to the Daily Echo just before Christmas, boss Howe quashed the speculation and insisted Arter would be “going nowhere”.

Howe added: “He is integral to the team, we gave him a four-year contract in the summer demonstrating our love for him.

“In my mind, he is so important to us.

“When he is playing well he is here, there and everywhere on the pitch. He has an impact on all moments.

“I’d like to think Harry is back to his best now.

“When he plays well, the team tends to play well. He is a driving force and almost the heartbeat of the team in the middle of the pitch.

“He is going to be a key player between now and the end of the season.”