Bournemouth striker Joshua King endured a "difficult couple of days" after a potential return to Manchester United failing to materialise, according to Eddie Howe.
United was rumoured to be interested in bringing King back to Old Trafford towards the end of the January transfer window, the club sinking cover for the injured Marcus Rashford.
King, 28, was said to be particularly eager to join United, having made two senior appearances for as a youngster and featured prominently under current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the club's reserves.
Bournemouth was reported to have rejected United's advances and the Red Devils signed former Watford striker Odion Ighalo instead, with King apparently left feeling "used", according to the Athletic.
Howe accepts King had a tough time coming to terms with the outcome but has urged the Norwegian to take it as a compliment and not dwell on personal matters as Bournemouth face a relegation tussle.
"That was a difficult couple of days for him," Howe told reporters. "But it's a huge compliment and a huge moment for him, to have Manchester United come in and express an interest in him.
"But he's very focused on our current position and this club. He knows we're in a relegation fight; it's no time for him to focus on himself, he knows that, and he's very much a team player.
"So, he's looking forward to being fit and contributing to our battle."
Bournemouth travel to Sheffield United on Sunday sitting just two points above the bottom three, though they go into the contest on the back of successive Premier League wins.
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