United expressed interest in striking a deal for King to boost their squad depth and even saw an initial £20m bid rejected as it did not meet Bournemouth’s valuation of the Norwegian, the Old Trafford club later securing a loan deal for former Watford frontman Odion Ighalo instead.
King began his senior career at United, having joined the club aged 16 from Valerenga in his native Norway. He played just two first-team games, leaving permanently in 2013 to sign for Blackburn.
The Oslo-born player later emerged as a Premier League calibre player at Bournemouth, netting 16 goals during the 2016/17 campaign and another 12 in the top flight last season.
King has now freely admitted to Norwegian broadcaster TV2 that he would have jumped at the chance to return to United, who were looking for cover for the injured Marcus Rashford.
“When you hear that you are of interest to United and a bid comes in, then the feelings you had as a 16-year-old come back to you. But why it did not happen, I could not say,” he said.
“I’m a Bournemouth player and I really enjoy it here. But it had been a dream come true [to re-join United], I will not lie. But that didn’t happen and I’m going to give everything to Bournemouth as long as I’m in this club.”
As much as a move to United would have been a dream come true for King, it also was for Ighalo, who started following the club when he was growing up in Nigeria.
The 30-year-old, who is on loan from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua until the summer, recently revealed that his favourite United players were 1998/99 treble winning strike partners Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke.
“When we were young back in Nigeria we used to watch the Premier League on TV a lot, when the likes of Andy Cole used to play, and Dwight Yorke,” Ighalo said.
“People support Man Utd a lot in Nigeria, so I developed that love, because all of my siblings, they are Man Utd fans. I never thought this was going to happen, but dreams do come true. I’m very happy to be here and this is going to be a big and good challenge for me in my career.”