Howe surprised by Harte's retirement

Eddie Howe has praised Ian Harte as a "total professional" after the former Bournemouth player announced his retirement.

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was shocked to hear the news that Ian Harte has retired from professional football.

Harte, a free agent after leaving Bournemouth in the close-season, announced his retirement on Thursday.

And Howe was quick to praise the former Republic of Ireland international, who joined Bournemouth from Reading in 2013.

"He was a leader every day and I can't give him a bigger compliment than that, and I don't even need to talk about his left foot," Howe said of the 37-year-old, who started his career at Leeds United.

"I only just heard the news, and I was surprised because I thought he still had a lot to offer in a footballing capacity.

"He was always a real team player and someone who reinforced all of the things we strive for – a total professional on and off the pitch, and the way he trained and his attitude was always second to none."

Harte made 35 appearances for Bournemouth, scoring once.