United were hope to sign the talented midfielder and were determined not to repeat past mistakes having missed out on his countryman Moises Caicedo.
Zambrano, 19, currently playing for LDU Quito in the Ecuadorian top-flight, has attracted interest from a number of clubs in the January transfer window.
It was reported on Thursday night that Bournemouth were ready to launch a bid and it appears they have won the race after comments from Cherries owner Foley.
‘We’re going to make an announcement in the next few days about a really exciting South American player who is coming over,’ Foley told CBS.
‘He may be loaned out to one of our sister clubs because we are trying to create a multi-club model.
‘We will progress him through that system and eventually you build up the playing time so he can come to Bournemouth.
‘Then you have an experienced, 22-year-old who is ready to play Premier League football.’
Bournemouth have impressed in the top-flight this term despite many tipping them to struggle, with Andoni Iraola’s side sat comfortably in 12th position.
Luton Town and Brighton were two other Premier League clubs who had expressed interest in signing Zambrano.