Soccer-Hammers bid to pick Cherries leaves manager Howe fuming

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May 18 (Reuters) - Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has expressed disappointment over the timing of a transfer bid for two of his players prior to Tuesday's 3-1 Premier League defeat by Manchester United at Old Trafford. The Cherries rejected an offer of around 25 million pounds ($36.08 million) for striker Callum Wilson and midfielder Matt Ritchie made by fellow Premier League side West Ham United, according to British media reports. Howe maintained that the club had no intention of selling players as they planned to build on their successful first season in England's top flight. "We had a bid yesterday (Monday) evening. The disappointing thing is why the bid has come in a day before our last game of the season -- two players who were due to play and a lot of speculation about their future," Howe told British media. "Bizarre. The bid was rejected and we don't need to sell. We want to improve our squad, not weaken it. Our biggest challenge is to be keeping the players we already have." Bournemouth finished 16th in the league, five points above the relegation zone. ($1 = 0.6929 pounds) (Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien)