CLARETS boss Eddie Howe has poured cold water on speculation linking him with a return to former club Bournemouth.
Howe - a Cherries fan who played for and managed the club before taking up the reins at Turf Moor in January 2011 - was installed as the bookmakers’ favourite for the post at Dean Court, after Paul Groves was sacked on Wednesday.
But Howe was keen to avoid any distractions ahead of tomorrow’s Championship trip to Crystal Palace, and said: “This is a Bournemouth story, it’s not really one I should comment on. But I’m proud to be Burnley manager, we’ve just started the job and we feel there’s a long way to go.”
League 1 Bournemouth have won only one league game this season, and it is believed that chairman Eddie Mitchell has made Howe his number one choice, after he helped steer the Cherries to promotion from League 2 at the end of his first full season in charge in 2010, while working under a transfer embargo.
And it is thought an official approach is in the offing for Howe and assistant Jason Tindall, another former Bournemouth player.
However, Burnley are not encouraging an approach, as chief executive Lee Hoos said in a statement: “Burnley Football Club would not welcome any approach for Eddie Howe from any club.
“We are in the process of building for the future with Eddie and his staff, and speculation is an unwanted distraction.”
Bournemouth have also been linked with former Clarets boss Steve Cotterill, who played for the club and lives locally, as well as MK Dons chief Karl Robinson and Harry Redknapp, who is an unpaid advisor at his old club following his departure from Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the season.
Mitchell said: ”I have spoken to Harry at great length about different things at the club and he knows my feelings.
“Harry is his own man and he knows what he wants to do.”
Howe preferred to focus on the game at Selhurst Park and Crystal Palace - another club who courted his services ahead of him taking the job at Burnley.