Man Utd transfer dream reaches unhappy conclusion after Ed Woodward’s ’15-minute demand’

You might be forgiven for thinking ‘what might have been’ – if your name was Josh King.

The Norway international has just been released by Everton after a short-term contract following his time ending at Bournemouth ending with a whimper.

Now aged 29 and without a goal in nearly a whole calendar year, the next step looks unclear for King.

It was not long ago when the striker looked set to sign for his boyhood club Manchester United as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fretted over some late transfer business.

Back in January 2020, the Red Devils were desperate to sign a forward after Marcus Rashford had been injured for the season.

Step forward King, who was at Bournemouth at the time and was looking for a way out – like several others.

The Cherries looked doomed for relegation, Eddie Howe was on his way out and the Vitality Stadium was not a happy place that season.

So when United got in contact, King did everything in his power to get the ball rolling as Ed Woodward made a brutal transfer decision.

A £25m bid was tabled and the Old Trafford supremo told Bournemouth, according to The Athletic : “You have 15 minutes to accept or we will be signing a player from China.”

The Cherries weighed up their options and dallied over a decision, lending to the time limit expiring.

Woodward, true to his word, took the offer off the table and moved for Odion Ighalo, who joined from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua on loan until the end of the season.

King was left on the south coast where he would score just three goals – coincidentally against United and future club Everton.

With his contract expiring the following year, Bournemouth will also be rueing their mistake – an extra £25m in the bank would look very nice right now.

But for King, his career has only gone one way after being told by Jonathan Woodgate he was no longer needed and he moved to the Toffees for a nominal fee on deadline day in the winter transfer window.

He signed a six-month contract, with an option to extend it by another year.

Everton did not take up that option.

It remains to be seen where King will end up now but he finds himself at a crossroads, where looking back will only leave him lamenting that bonkers January 2020 transfer window.


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