Josh King was the focal point of transfer deadline day on February 1, with the then-Bournemouth striker the centrepiece of a battle between Premier League sides Everton and Fulham.
Both sides made a late move to try and bolster their attack for the rest of the season, with the Cherries willing to let King go and make a bit of money back on him as he had no intention of staying beyond the end of the current campaign.
But it was the Toffees who won out in the end, signing the Norway international for a ‘nominal fee’ until the end of the season, with an option in the contract to extend it beyond that.
The deal only initially lasting until the end of the season seems like it was a pivotal one in King’s decision, as the Sun on Sunday (7/2, page 60) have revealed new details of Fulham’s rivalling offer.
According to the publication, King would have been tied-up with Fulham for two-and-a-half years if he penned their contract, and it was worth £4 million a season – equating to £80,000 a week for the forward.
But the key part of the deal that made King favour Everton was that the Cottagers weren’t offering him an escape clause at the end of the season – King didn’t want to be potentially playing Championship football again next season and signing a multi-year deal brought that risk into play.
If Fulham had placed a relegation clause in his contract allowing him to depart should they suffer that fate, then there’s every chance that King would’ve chosen West London over Merseyside – but he will now be battling for the top-four instead of Premier League survival.
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It’s hard to see where King fits in at Everton, as it doesn’t look like he will be getting many starts over Richarlison, James Rodriguez and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
He will probably selfishly hoping one of them picks up a slight knock so he gets his chance, whilst at Fulham he probably would’ve been a regular starter – Scott Parker opted for former Sunderland striker Josh Maja instead when the King deal fell through.
The Everton contract though gives him the summer to assess his options – he could be a useful option to have for the next few years should the Toffees qualify for Europe next season or there’s a chance another decent-sized team will offer him a multi-year deal for him to be a first-choice striker, which seems like a better idea than being tied down to a relegation-threatened team for the next few years.