Manchester United are trying to sign Bournemouth striker Josh King on deadline day, as the Red Devils have had one bid turned down by the Cherries.
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After signing Bruno Fernandes on Thursday, maybe the Red Devils aren’t done yet in the January transfer window?
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However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who managed King when he was in charge of the reserve team at United, has spoken on deadline day and doesn’t believe Man United will do anymore business.
“I don’t expect any more business to be done,” Solskjaer said. “Sometimes I say something here and something else happens. I don’t want to make speculation grow more and more today. I expect nothing to happen but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.”
The key detail here is that Solskjaer said that Marco Rojo and Ashley Young would not leave United this month. Both players departed.
United need a striker to help in the short-term given Marcus Rashford‘s injury but King, 28, would be a long-term buy. The Norwegian striker is currently out injured but has been a massive part of Bournemouth’s success under Eddie Howe with 45 goals in 151 league appearances.
Bournemouth’s manager is reluctant to lose King but admitted that given his close connections to Man United, the move could happen if United match Bournemouth’s valuation of the player.
“He’s a massive part of our team, as he has been for a long time,” Howe said. “Speaking as the manager of the club I would be very reluctant to lose a player of his quality. I love Josh as a player and a person. I have respect for him. I know his situation, what Manchester United means to him, with his history connected to the club, I understand his position. Let’s wait and see.”
Howe added that given how late this approach has arrived from United, it would be tough for Bournemouth to find a replacement for King: “It’s not my call at the end of the day, that’s going to be between the chief executive and the owner, a lot of these things are out of my control.”
They would certainly need a replacement as they’re embroiled in a relegation battle and are set for a tense final few months of the season.
This sounds like a deal which could have legs in the final hours of the window and given King’s connection to United and Solskjaer, it certainly makes sense from an emotional point of view. He would add quality to United’s attack but how often would he play? That is something Solskjaer and United have to weigh up as Bournemouth will no doubt hike his transfer fee up.
King scored the winning goal as Bournemouth beat Man United 1-0 earlier this season, so the Red Devils know all about his quality and if the price is right, King would be quite a shrewd signing compared to being linked with Islam Slimani, Salomon Rondon and Odion Ighalo.