Eddie Howe described speculation linking Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson with a transfer to Manchester United as “pointless”, and backed the striker to maintain his recent good form.

Wilson has scored five goals in seven Premier League appearances for the Cherries this season, helping the club to a three-game unbeaten run ahead of their trip to Arsenal on Sunday.

The 27-year-old’s performances have led to suggestions he could be the solution to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s attacking problems at Old Trafford, but Howe indicated such rumours are to be expected when a player is performing so well.

Howe told reporters: “To hear transfer links and rumours at this stage, when the window is shut and a long way from being open, for me it’s pointless talking about it.

“I take with a pinch of salt, to be honest, at this stage of the season. There’s nothing that we can do, that Callum can do, other than perform well.

“That influences rumours and things like that at this stage of the season. He’s just got to focus on his next game and give his best for this club.”

Wilson, who signed a four-year contract at Bournemouth in July, was named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

Southgate included Wilson along with Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Tammy Abraham, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford in his attacking options, and Howe backed his player to carry his club form onto the international stage.

“It’s deserved,” said Howe of Wilson’s call-up. “I think he’s had a good start to the season.

“I think with Callum we have just been focusing on his performances and making sure he delivers what we need for the team.

“On the back of that, we have always said we feel he will score goals if he gets the finer points of his performance right.

“I think he has and now he’s in a confident mood – that’s a great sign for us and for him.”