Marlon King will travel to Wigan Athletic today in an attempt to seal his protracted move away from Vicarage Road.
Watford accepted a bid – believed to be between £4 and £5m – from the Latics on Wednesday and King, together with his representative Tony Finnigan, will head to the JJB Stadium for a medical and to thrash out personal terms.
Portsmouth had made a tentative enquiry about the 11-goal striker but Harry Redknapp has switched his attention to Milan Baros.
“We’ve had contact from Fulham and also contact from two other clubs enquiring about the situation,” confirmed Aidy Boothroyd.
“I am hoping the situation will be resolved by the end of the week. Whether he plays for Watford, Fulham or the other two on Saturday I can’t tell you.”
Fulham, however, have ended their interest after King failed a medical at Craven Cottage. They attempted to resurrect the deal by offering the Hornets £1m up front rising to £3m but Watford rejected the deal. Fulham have since signed Erik Nevland, Jari Litmanen, Eddie Johnson and are hopeful of signing Daniel Cousins from Glasgow Rangers.
Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed pulled the plug on the £40,000 week offer to King – a deal that would have comfortably made him the highest paid player at the club – after learning the results of the stringent two-day medical the striker underwent.
Tests and scans revealed King has a deterioration in his right knee and it understood that the problem is inoperable and may even bring a premature end to his career.
In November 2006, King underwent complex surgery to repair a small tear in his meniscus but upon closer inspection, the surgeon discovered there was piece of cartilage flapping and a bit of bone had come away.
The outcome of the medical questions the wisdom of Watford’s decision to offer King an improved £25,000 a week deal in the summer – believed to be rising to £44,000 should Watford gain promotion – but does vindicate and explain the manager’s decision to accept a bid many fans believe is below his market value.
Boothroyd did not confirm King had failed a medical but said: “He had a knee problem last year. A lot of players get injuries and that is part and parcel of the game.
“When you have played every game since then, trained every day and scored 11 goals you know there is nothing wrong with them.
“However, it makes good sense on Fulham’s part to try and get the price down. All it does is unsettle the player, unsettles my thinking and what I want to do. Once the decision has been made I want that money to be able to strengthen in other areas.”
Boothroyd went on to to confirm that, despite the money from the Premiership and the sale of Ashley Young and Hameur Bouazza, he requires the proceeds from the sale of King to bolster his squad. A deep-lying midfielder is top of his wish-list.
“We haven’t got that sort of money hiding under the bed so I need that money,” he revealed.
“It’s disappointing it’s gone on this long for me, the club and the player. Marlon made his decison to go and is ready to go.
“It’s a very difficult situation because of the relationship I have with him and how well he has done for the club. I saw him on Saturday night.
“He’s in the wilderness at the minutes, he just wants to know where he is going and what he’s doing.”