Manchester United were desperately looking to sign a striker in the January transfer window. The Old Trafford outfit sealed a loan deal for ex-Watford striker Odion Ighalo from Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai Shenhua. The transfer put an end to Josh King’s dream of returning to Manchester United. However, reports suggest that King was Ed Woodward’s first-choice option. The delay in signing him led to Manchester United pursuing Odion Ighalo.
With the January transfer deadline fast approaching, Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward launched a £25 million bid for Bournemouth striker Josh King. The former Manchester United player had played for the reserves under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and would have added depth to the attack after an injury to top-scorer Marcus Rashford. However, the transfer didn't materialise because of Ed Woodward’s unnatural deadline for Bournemouth to respond.
New detail on Manchester United’s deadline day pursuits: Ed Woodward gave Bournemouth chief exec Neill Blake 15mins to decide on final Josh King bid - before moving to clinch Odion Ighalo loan.@David_Ornstein column https://t.co/lGDivZS6oW #MUFC @TheAthleticUK— Laurie Whitwell (@lauriewhitwell) February 17, 2020
According to Laurie Whitewell of The Athletic, Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward directly contacted Bournemouth’s chief executive Neill Blake, making a final £25 million bid for Josh King. Woodward reportedly told Blake that he had a 15-minute deadline to accept the offer. If they failed to do so, Manchester United will move to sign a player from China. While it was a decent attempt to apply pressure on relegation-threatened Bournemouth, the Cherries weren’t sure if the deadline was actually pressing.
As the silence continued, Ed Woodward signed Odion Ighalo from China and Josh King’s dream return to Manchester United never happened.