Roy Hodgson admits Fulham had ‘a lucky escape’ after dropping out of a bid to sign the disgraced striker Marlon King.

Hodgson told a press conference today that the club were close to signing the forward from Watford just after he took over from Lawrie Sanchez at Craven Cottage. But once King, who was jailed this week for sexually assault and actual bodily harm, had failed a medical and details of his previous criminal convictions came to light, Fulham quickly dropped their interest.

I think we got lucky in that we didn’t sign him. I’d only just come to the club and didn’t know the player at all. All I knew about him was his goalscoring record and the information I was able to gather, which was not sufficiently detailed.

There was a problem with the medical and it also became a problem when we found out he had a jail sentence. Mohamed Al Fayed was not at all keen on that so the transfer was allowed to collapse and he went to Wigan instead.

Hodgson insisted that despite the claims of King’s agent, Tony Finnigan, a former Fulham player, the striker would find it difficult to resume his career after serving his sentence. He was in no doubt that Fulham would not be interested in signing the player.

Marlon’s agent is fairly clear on the subject and has a very cynical view. He believes there is no moral judgement in football and the fact the person we’re talking about can score goals will blot any moral values people will have.

I don’t know if that’s true, but I know he won’t be signed by Fulham. The owner of our club would not embrace that type of signing and I as a manager would not embrace it.