Former Manchester United graduate Josh King has opened up on his failed move to rejoin the club from Bournemouth on deadline day.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was scrambling to swell his attacking ranks during the final few hours of the January transfer market, but a failed swoop for King led to the acquisition of Odion Ighalo on loan from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.
How close was King to joining Man Utd? Five things to know…
- Man Utd launched an audacious bid for King from Bournemouth on deadline day.
- Solskjaer was in need of attacking reinforcements following an injury sustained by Marcus Rashford.
- King used to ply his trade at Old Trafford during his formative years but failed to make the grade at the club.
- According to The Times, Man Utd dropped their interest after Bournemouth quoted £35m for King.
- As such, the club have now paid £3m to take former Watford striker Ighalo on loan for the rest of the season.
King, 28, joined Man Utd as a slender 16-year-old in 2008 from Valerenga in his native Norway, but after five years and only two first-team appearances at Old Trafford, he relocated to Blackburn Rovers in the Championship.
Fast forward to 2020 and King is now one of the Premier League’s most feared forwards, despite falling short of his own expectations this season as Bournemouth fight frantically at the foot of the table.
He has proven indispensable to Eddie Howe’s system at Dean Court and has naturally attracted the attention of some of the league’s so-called ‘bigger clubs’, including compatriot Solskjaer, but it is believed Man Utd turned their attentions elsewhere after the Cherries refused to budge on their asking price.
“How close it was I have no complete answer to. I have to watch what I say,” the striker told Norwegian broadcast station TV2.
“I had some faith that it was going to happen. And it was a bit sensitive for me considering that I moved to England as a 16-year-old to achieve my dream and wanted to reach that goal at Manchester United.
“It did not [happen] and then I made a choice and left. When you hear that you are connected to United and a bid comes in, then the feelings you had as a 16-year-old come back to you.”
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King: I’m going to give everything to Bournemouth
Despite a move to Old Trafford failing to materialise, King was quick to quell any question marks over his commitment to Bournemouth, outlining his ambitions to give his all, as the Cherries attempt to stave off the threat of relegation.
“But why it did not happen, I do not know. I’m a Bournemouth player and I really enjoy it here. But it would have been a dream come true, I will not lie,” he added.
“That didn’t happen and I’m going to give everything to Bournemouth as long as I’m in this club.
“The coach [Eddie Howe] was absolutely fantastic with me during those days and was very helpful with me. I have respect for how he behaved with me during the little episode.”