Confirmed: Leeds United's Champions League semi-finalist Ian Harte is now a free agent

Bournemouth AFC player huddle

The former Leeds left-back has been released by Bournemouth.

Championship winners Bournemouth have confirmed via their official website that Leeds United legend Ian Harte will be one of seven players to be released this summer.

The 37-year-old played a bit-part role in the Cherries' victorious promotion campaign and will be allowed to leave once his contract expires.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe - remarkably the same age as the left-back - said releasing players is a 'heartbreaking' part of the job.

But the Leeds icon is nevertheless now a free agent once again, sadly but perhaps justifiably denied the opportunity to return to the Premier League.

Harte was one of Leeds United's Champions League heroes in 2001, scoring in the quarter-final of their famous European run and then taking part in the semi-final that ended the Yorkshire side's dreams of shocking the continent and going all the way.

Social media has not failed to notice the news of Harte's Bournemouth departure and some Leeds fans have already begun to whisper about the prospect of the veteran returning to Elland Road to provide cover for Charlie Taylor et al.

It is safe to say, however, that plenty of Leeds supporters feel the 37-year-old is far too old to offer United anything of value at this stage in his career. His past achievements at the club, though, can never be questioned.

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