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AFC Bournemouth linked with Celtic World Cup star

| 19.05.2014

Greece forward Georgios Samaras is being lined up for a trip south of the border by AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.

That is the latest on the rumour mill surrounding the south coast club after the Celtic striker revealed he has not been offered a contract extension by the Glasgow club.

The 29-year-old, who is 8/1 with Ladbrokes to top score for his country at the World Cup, said that while he was keen to stay at Celtic there has been no communication with the Bhoys board.

“I never had an offer from the club. I never had an offer from Peter Lawwell. I’ve been seven years at the club and I’d have loved to stay,” he told BBC Scotland.

“I had a chat with the manager. He would have loved me to stay and I was happy to stay, but me and the gaffer don’t make the decisions.”

Samaras has won four SPL titles, two Scottish Cups and a Scottish League Cup since joining Celtic in 2008 but the 6ft 4in forward still has a point to prove in England.

Manchester City introduced the Greece star to the English game after being impressed with his return of 25 goals from 88 Eredivisie games for Heerenveen.

However, after a three-season spell in Manchester yielded just 12 strikes from 64 appearances he was shipped out to Celtic where he has divided opinion ever since.

Samaras has bagged a total of 74 goals since joining the club, but after failing to reach double figures in three of his seven seasons the Hoops have called time on his stay at Celtic Park.

This will be music to Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe’s ears however, with the club in need of a striker with 22-goal man Lewis Grabban poised to make a £3m move to Cardiff.

Samaras’ physical presence would see him draw obvious comparisons to Cherries club legend Steve Fletcher and if the Greece man can hold up the ball for the likes of Yann Kermorgant and Matt Ritchie the Dean Court outfit could press for promotion once again.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.