Manchester United investigating signings as Joshua King deal looks doubtful

Shanghai Shenhua’s Odion Ighalo among players under consideration as deadline nears

Joshua King is one of only three senior strikers at Bournemouth, with Dominic Solanke and Callum Wilson. Photograph: Getty Images

Joshua King is one of only three senior strikers at Bournemouth, with Dominic Solanke and Callum Wilson. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Manchester United believe their chances of buying Joshua King from Bournemouth are fading and they are investigating possible loan signings as an alternative.

Odion Ighalo, a former Watford striker, is among those under consideration but there was little optimism of reaching a deal with the Shanghai Shenhua player.

United had an offer for King turned down but were given reason to believe an increased bid could succeed when Eddie Howe said on Friday morning that, much as he did not want to lose King, the decision on whether to sell was not in his hands.

Bournemouth’s manager also indicated that King, who was with United as a youngster but made only one first-team appearance, was keen to return to Old Trafford.

However with about six hours remaining before the transfer window shuts United were not optimistic of getting the 28-year-old.

“It’s not my call at the end of the day,” Howe said. “It’s going to be between the chief executive and the owner of the football club and that’s why I said at the start I don’t want to go too deep into it because a lot of these things are out of my control.

“All I can say is I love Josh as a player and a person. I respect him greatly, and I know his situation – I know what Manchester United means to him with his history connected to the club. So I understand his position. Let’s wait and see.”

United are desperate to sign a striker after losing Marcus Rashford to a long-term back injury.

Speculation

Ole Gunnar Solskjær said on Friday morning he did not expect any further transfer business but that should be seen in the context of previous statements on Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo. United’s manager claimed neither would leave in January only for Young to sign for Internazionale and Rojo to join Estudiantes.

Reminded of this Solskjær, who worked with King when coaching United’s reserves, said: “Sometimes I say something here and something else happens. Sometimes I say I am happy with a player and he gets a different message. So I don’t want to help or make speculation grow more and more today. I expect nothing to happen but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.”

King is one of only three senior strikers at Bournemouth, with Dominic Solanke and Callum Wilson. Howe, outlining his preference to keep King, said the Norway international was “much valued and loved by us” and “a massive part of our team”.

On Thursday United signed Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon. Solskjær, asked why Fernandes was not bought in summer, said: “Its about timings, priorities and also valuation, money.” Solskjær confirmed Fernandes would be in Saturday’s squad for the visit of Wolves.

– Guardian

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