Bournemouth star Joshua King claims a move to Manchester United last month would have been “a dream come true” – but admits he has to “watch what I say” about it.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side desperately scrambled around to find themselves a new centre forward on deadline day and their somewhat scatter-gun approach has seen the likes of Edinson Cavani, Danny Ings, Islam Slimani, Dries Mertens, Salomon Rondon and – perhaps most bizarrely – Adolfo Gaich all mentioned as United targets, before they eventually got lucky with minutes remaining to land former Watford man Odion Ighalo.
However, much of the early talk on deadline day was of their move to sign Bournemouth frontman King, who was the subject of a failed approach from United and saw both Eddie Howe and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer himself both openly talk about the prospect of the 28-year-old returning to his former club.
It has since been claimed that King felt “used” by United over the aborted transfer, having outlined his frustrations at “broken promises” surrounding the deal.
As it went, King stayed at Bournemouth and, while he is still expected to leave over the summer, the forward has come clean about the failed move for the first time after being questioned after their 2-1 defeat at Sheffield United on Sunday.
Speaking to Norwegian broadcasters TV2 [via the Daily Mail], King said: “How close it was I have no complete answer to. I have to watch what I say.
“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.”
Oslo-born King came through the ranks at Old Trafford and moved to Bournemouth in 2015.
King: Man Utd return would have been special
And he admits a return to the club where it all began for him would have been extra special.
“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,” he added.
“But why it did not happen, I do not know. I’m a Bournemouth player and I really enjoy it here. But it had been a dream come true, I will not lie.
“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.”