GARY Bowles will finally become an AFC Bournemouth player, after the Magpies accepted an improved offer for the defender, but his ties at the Avenue Stadium have yet to be severed.

The Cherries upped the ante with a five-figure sum after failing with two separate bids for the 22-year-old earlier this month.

And although the former Yeovil Town man will now join the League One outfit, he is being loaned back to the Magpies as part of the switch, which also includes a sell-on clause.

After fighting hard to secure the best possible outcome for the county town club, chairman Shaun Hearn told Echosport: “We have accepted a nominal fee with add-ons and hopefully it suits everybody.

“He will though, come back on loan for the rest of the season, unless they call him back. We never wanted to stand in his way so hopefully he will fulfil his potential there. Now that it’s all done he can get back to concentrating on his football.”

Bowles first joined Dorchester on loan from the Glovers in 2006. He then signed a permanent deal with the Magpies a year later and has now made 131 appearances in total, scoring five goals in the process.

Keen to return to the full-time game, Bowles earned a trial with the Cherries earlier this summer and featured in a 2-2 draw with Winchester City, before eventually persuading former Dorchester chairman Eddie Mitchell, now at the Seward Stadium helm, to open his chequebook and secure the defender’s services.

Magpies’ boss Ashley Vickers, whose side host Eastleigh tomorrow night (7.45pm), said: “We’re really pleased for Gary and for the fact that we were able to come to a positive arrangement all-round. It’s been going on a long time but he now has a massive opportunity to progress, providing he has a good season for us. It’s an ideal scenario as we have missed him so far this season. He has so much potential, it’s about fulfilling that now.

“These are exciting times for him and hopefully we will benefit from him now training full-time.

“I’m pleased it’s all been sorted out as Shaun has been working hard to reach a deal with Tom and Eddie Mitchell. Hopefully it will pay dividends for all concerned.

“It just goes to show that the opportunity is there for our players to progress. Eight months ago Danny Ings was on loan to us, now he has gone to Burnley for £1m.”

* After seeing their Wyvern Premier League curtain-raiser postponed last weekend, the Magpies’ reserve team get the new season underway at the Avenue Stadium on Tuesday night, with Sholing the visitors (7.45pm).