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Manchester United make deadline day bid for Josh King — reports

The 28-year-old striker wants to escape the sinking Bournemouth ship.

AFC Bournemouth v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Fresh reports state that Manchester United are targeting former United youth player, Josh King on the final day of the January transfer window. With the business of Bruno Fernandes finally sorted, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has turned his attention to reinforcements for the top of his attack.

Solskjaer said as much in his post-match press conference following the Manchester City match when he stated he wanted a striker willing to injure themselves if it meant scoring a goal. Unable to suit up himself, Solskjaer is now looking to another Norwegian striker to fill the void left by Marcus Rashford’s untimely and inevitable injury.

Like a student waiting until the night before the due date to write a term paper, United are in need of the most sought-after position in football, and King looks to fill at least a short-term void.

You may remember King’s sublime scoring effort against United when the Reds and the Cherries faced off at the Vitality Stadium earlier this season. The striker has proven more than capable in the first division with strong performances during Bournemouth’s first couple seasons in the Premier League.

However, King, like his club, has struggled this season and he only has three goals — with the goal against United marking his last one. Furthermore, King’s last appearance for the club was a start against Brighton on Dec. 28, 2019 where he was substituted off with a hamstring injury. The forward has not played since which proves worrisome considering his injury history and United’s need for a consistent player at the top of the attack.

King, of course, played in Manchester United’s academy as a teenager — around the same time that Solskjaer transitioned into a coaching role at the club — and he made one appearance as a substitute for the first team. He enjoyed loan spells at Preston North End, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hull City, and, eventually, Blackburn Rovers where he was made a permanent signing in Jan. 2013. The striker turned down a second contract at Blackburn in 2015 and joined Bournemouth for the club’s first campaign in the Premier League. He has been a regular starter when healthy and amassed 45 goals in 157 appearances for the Cherries.

Bournemouth currently sit 18th in the Premier League and appear destined to be relegated after an admirable five year stint in the first division. While King could be integral to the club making a final stand earning another year of first division football, the club might also benefit from a rebuild that would be partially funded by the substantial fee that King’s departure would command.

Currently, the early reports suggest that Solskjaer and King want the move and that Bournemouth are willing to let the deal go through. However, particulars of fee and length of contract have not leaked, and a 28-year-old injury-prone striker is not the most tantalizing signing for the Reds. A low fee and short term contract with an option would seem like a win for United. Anything more should make supporters nervous.