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Eddie Howe rules out any January move involving Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie

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Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie will not be moving in the January transfer window, according to manager Eddie Howe.

The 26-year-old has been one of the Cherries' stand-out performers this season, scoring two goals, one of which an emphatic left-footed volley against Sunderland.

Strong displays for Premier League minnows Bournemouth have lead to interest in the forward's services, with Manchester United rumoured to be interested.

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Speaking to Sky Sports, however, Howe said: "Whenever any of our players gets linked, it's not welcome by us.

"We're not a selling club and we certainly want to keep the squad together if we can in January and not the other way."

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When asked about interest from the Red Devils, the 37-year-old responded: "We'd have to see that (a United bid) on its individual merit, but certainly we're not looking to sell him."

Bournemouth have lost a number of their best players due to injury this season, emphasising the point they cannot afford to sell their best players. Top scorer Callum Wilson was cruelly struck down by injury after a promising start to the campaign, whilst Max Gradel, Tyrone Mings and now Glenn Murray have all joined him on the sidelines.

Ritchie joined Bournemouth in 2012 when they were in League One and has since made 107 appearances for the South Coast club. Whilst with previous employers Swindon, the flying Scotsman made a name for himself by winning the League One and Two Player of the Year in consecutive seasons.

The Scotland international has since enjoyed a rapid rise to stardom, from playing for Swindon in League Two a mere three years ago to the heights of England's top division. Now, he's the first name on the team sheet for Bournemouth and made his first competitive appearance for Scotland last month.

Howe may well be right to put his foot down and do everything he can to keep Ritchie at the club, but the issue remains whether temptation and flattery will prove too much for the winger to resist.

And with Bournemouth shelling a large sum on players in the summer transfer window, Howe may not be able to replace Ritchie and the attacking threat he provides on a weekly basis should a move transpire.

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Premier League
Manchester United
Wayne Rooney
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