Joshua King says it has been “the worst two months” of his life and says he did not still expect to be at Bournemouth.
King was one of several players who seemed likely to move on after Bournemouth suffered relegation last season. He had already been close to leaving in January, when Manchester United missed out with a deadline day bid.
Now, King’s future is going right down to the wire again. While there is less than a year left on his contract, he is still keen to secure a move away so that he can return to top flight football.
He had been a target for West Brom before they signed Karlan Grant, while Fulham and Aston Villa have also shown an interest. West Ham have also had a bid rejected.
The most recent contender to emerge for King is Everton, with reports suggesting they could launch a late bid for the £15m-rated forward.
Now, in an interview with an outlet in his native Norway, King – who is yet to start a Championship game this season – has admitted that the past few months have been “tough”.
“It hasn’t been the easiest months for me mentally,” King told TV2.
“There is a lot of writing, a lot of things. I don’t want to comment too much now. But I hope to return, the transfer window is still open, so we’ll see. I want to start playing again and get in good shape, that’s the most important thing.
“A lot of people judge what they see in 90 minutes, but don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes.
“Football is fresh. You’re going to find out one day, I guarantee that, but I can’t comment as much now as I am where I am.
“It’s been tough, but I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. This is what I signed when I started playing football, but I wish things were sorted out before it was actually sorted out.
“Honestly, I don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s a lot that’s happened. I could have written a book about what’s happened the last two months and it had definitely become a bestseller.
“If I’m to be honest, it’s been the two worst months of my life. But I can’t give a reason.”
King hints at Bournemouth promises
While Bournemouth have already let some of their top players leave for Premier League clubs, King remains at the Vitality Stadium.
However, he insists that he would be somewhere else if he had his way.
“If it had been up to me, I would have already signed for a club and started the season, played four games and been in top form.
“I think the club would rather me be there, but as I said, I felt like I had done my part and been loyal to the club for many years.
“We had an agreement between us after what happened in January.
“The only thing is that I miss, training well and playing football at the highest level. And of course to get back in good shape. I’m my own biggest critic.
“If you’d asked me two months ago if I thought I’d be in Bournemouth after what I’ve been promised, I’d have answered 110 per cent no.
“But after everything that’s happened in the last two months, with things that come eventually, I have to grit my teeth together, work hard and do what I can.
“It’s a bit special to be a footballer who has nine months left on his contract. We’ll see if I leave now, in January or this summer.”
Tindall responds to King comments
King’s comments have not gone unnoticed by Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall, who took over from Eddie Howe over the summer.
Tindall insists that King will play a big part as long as he is at Bournemouth, but he will have no hard feelings if the 28-year-old leaves.
“Any player that’s contracted to this football club is part of my plans,” Tindall said. “A player of Josh’s quality certainly is.
“As we’ve always said at this football club, if an acceptable offer for any of our players comes in and the club deem it acceptable then they’ll always look at it, as we did with Nathan Ake, Aaron Ramsdale and Callum Wilson.
“I’ve spoken to Josh. We’ve stayed in contact right the way through my time here. I had a chat with him yesterday.
“He’s just got back from being away with Norway and he’s fine, he understands the situation and what will be will be today. If an acceptable offer comes in and everybody agrees to it, he goes with the best wishes of me and the football club for everything he’s done for us.
“If that’s not to be then I’ll look forward to having him here for the rest of the season.”
Tindall maintains that the situation with King is a win-win for Bournemouth, given that they will either receive a decent transfer fee or keep an important player.
“It is, in a sense. Josh King in any Championship team I think everyone would want him to be involved in the squad of players they’ve got.
“For us it’s no different. If we do get an acceptable offer for the football club then it’s great considering what we signed Josh for and the value he’s given us. If we don’t then we’ve still got a quality player on our hands to choose from for the rest of the season.”