According to the Northern Echo, Steve Bruce has identified Bournemouth’s Josh King as his ‘leading attacking target’ after finalising his January options over the past 48 hours.
The report states that Mike Ashley is ‘extremely reluctant’ to sanction permanent deals this month, however the Norway international looks set to be available at a cut-price fee, with the Cherries looking to sell before his contract expires this summer.
Scott Wilson’s piece for the Northern Echo insists that Bruce is continuing to target players with previous experience of the Premier League – which explains his interest in King – but would be prepared to look to Europe if an ‘attractive opportunity’ arises in the loan market.
King is a 28-year-old forward who can play up top, out wide or in the number 10 role – with him often playing in the latter and just behind Callum Wilson when the pair were together at the Vitality Stadium.
Elsewhere, The Sun’s Duncan Wright reckons we’ve told Bournemouth we’d be willing to pay £15m for the former Man Utd youngster – however that doesn’t tally up for a few reasons.
For one, I don’t see us paying that for a player who’ll be available for nothing this summer, with that also the sort of outlay Mike Ashey seems highly unlikely to agree to – unless we cash in on the likes of Dwight Gayle.
Both The Echo and The Sun claim that West Ham are also showing serious interest in King, with any loan move for Fikayo Tomori now out of the question after a ‘serious injury’ to Chelsea centre-back Andreas Christensen.
He’d be a good addition for me and a much needed upgrade on our current back-up options, however I struggle to see how we’ll sign him this month if Bruce is completely restricted to loans as some claim!