Football/Soccer

Bournemouth's Harry Arter non-committal over future

Republic of Ireland's Harry Arter (left) and Austria's Rubin Okotie battle for the ball during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, Group D match at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna. on Saturday November 12 2016. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.
Damian Spellman

Harry Arter has hinted that his future could lie away from Bournemouth as he prepares to end a frustrating season by pitching himself into battle with World Cup-bound France.

The midfielder reported for Republic of Ireland duty this week having not kicked a ball in anger for his club since January, with a succession of niggling injuries seeing him lose his place and then fall out of favour with Cherries manager Eddie Howe.

He has three years remaining on his contract at the Vitality Stadium and insists he would have no problem fighting for his place again next term.

However, with international boss Martin O'Neill having admitted he needs to be playing at club level to force his way into the Republic team, the 28-year-old knows he may have a decision to make.

Arter said: "I felt at the end of the season was probably the best time for me and (Howe) to have an honest chat.

"The relationship has been very good and it still is at this point. He's someone I respect greatly - he gave me my opportunity back in football, and now in the Premier League, he's given me three good years there, so the respect will always be there from myself to him and it's the same from him to me.

"He thanked me for my efforts this year, he thanked me for having a good attitude and being a good person around the changing room and we'll see what happens in the summer."

Arter joined Bournemouth from non-league Woking in June 2010 and has played a key role in the club's rise to becoming an established Premier League club.

As a result, finding himself out of the team has been difficult to take.

In the meantime, Arter, who also suffered the disappointment of missing out on his nation's Euro 2016 finals adventure through injury, will concentrate on establishing himself in O'Neill's squad and Monday night's trip to Paris.

He said: "It wouldn't be a massive surprise if France won the World Cup, so to play against them is a great experience and to put in a performance for yourself would be something that you would want to do.

"It's something I personally want to do and if we can get a positive result, that will really set our stall out for the next lot of games that we have coming up."

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