Fraser rejects contract extension at struggling Bournemouth

BOURNEMOUTH, England (AP) — Bournemouth’s chances of escaping relegation have taken a blow after Ryan Fraser turned down the opportunity to sign a short-term contract extension to the end of the prolonged Premier League season.

It means the Scotland winger will be out of contract at the end of June and will miss the remainder of the campaign, which is due to finish on July 26 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Bournemouth, which returns to action after the league’s three-month suspension with a home game against Crystal Palace, is in third-to-last place and occupying the final relegation spot with nine matches remaining.

Players whose contracts are due to expire may decide against signing extensions to limit the chance of picking up an injury that might affect a future transfer.

The 26-year-old Fraser joined Bournemouth in 2013 and was one of the team’s best players last season, providing 14 assists — the second-highest tally in the league.

He has struggled for form this season, though, and has acknowledged he “didn’t play for the team” before Christmas because of the uncertainty over his future.

Bournemouth said Simon Francis, Andrew Surman, Artur Boruc and Charlie Daniels have agreed to contract extensions that allows them to play for the team in the remaining nine games of the 2019-20 season.