Josh King opens up on failed Man United transfer

Joe Prince-Wright
NBC Sports

Josh King has opened up on a failed deadline day transfer to his beloved Man United as Bournemouth decided not to sell their Norwegian striker.

King, 28, was the subject of an initial loan offer from United as his countryman Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scrambled around for a striker late in the January window. It is known that Bournemouth rejected the loan offer given their position in a relegation scrap and King was valued at more than $52 million.

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United didn’t come in with another bid for King as they instead signed Odion Ighalo on a short-term loan as they try to plug the considerable gap left by Marcus Rashford‘s injury.

As for King, the former Man United academy graduate told Norwegian outlet TV2 that at one point he thought the deal was going to happen and he understandably seemed keen to return to the club he joined as a teenager.

“I have to be a little careful about what I am saying here,” King said. “A small part of me believed it could happen, and of course it was a bit emotional for me considering I had moved to England as a 16-year old to try and fulfil my dreams and to achieve my goals. I aimed to do so at Manchester United, and when it didn’t happen I made a choice and left. And when you hear after all that, that you are linked with Manchester United and that there was an offer on the table, then of course the same feelings you had as a 16-year old come back to you.”

King’s manager at Bournemouth, Eddie Howe, admitted on deadline day that he totally understood King’s connection with United and in particular Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who coached him in the reserve team.

After first moving to Blackburn Rovers and then Bournemouth the speedy striker had carved out a name for himself in the Premier League with the Cherries and he is their top goalscorer since they were promoted to the top flight.

To see this move break down will have been very tough for King. He is now a proven Premier League striker who delivers trickery, pace and goals drifting in from wide areas and he scored a superb winner against Man United earlier this season and could have slotted into their team long-term rather than just being a short term solution.

King may not get another chance for a move ‘home’ to Old Trafford and there’s no doubt he will have a ‘what if?’ feeling in the back of his mind for some time. Probably the rest of his life.

That said, if Bournemouth do get relegated this season perhaps King may find himself at Old Trafford next season as Solskjaer is clearly a huge fan of his.

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