BLACKBURN Rovers yesterday completed the loan signing of Manchester United forward Josh King – but they were unable to convince Tottenham to allow Brad Friedel to return to the club on a temporary deal.
Henning Berg swooped to make King his first signing as Rovers boss as he recruited the 20-year-old Norwegian international on loan until January, with a view to a permanent deal.
Berg also made an audacious attempt to lure Rovers legend Friedel back to the club ahead of the closure of the Football League’s loan window at 5pm yesterday.
The duo were previously team-mates at Ewood Park but it is understood that Berg’s enquiry about a loan move, which may have led to the offer an extended deal, was turned down by Tottenham.
Friedel still remains in Andre Villas-Boas’ plans at White Hart Lane after battling for the goalkeeper’s jersey with Hugo Lloris since the start of the season.
The 41-year-old was expected to be merely back-up at Tottenham this season when the North London club completed the signing of French international Lloris.
But, although Lloris got the nod for Saturday’s 5-2 Premier League defeat at Arsenal, Friedel has made 10 appearances this season.
Rovers fans had hoped a move may materialise when the American did not travel to Italy for last night’s Europa League game against Lazio, but Friedel has been rested from all of Tottenham’s European games so far this season.
Paul Robinson was immediately linked with a January move to West Ham yesterday, to link up again with Sam Allardyce, although Rovers are thought to want to retain their current regular keeper.
Berg, however, may still monitor Friedel’s situation and consider another enquiry should the American fall out of contention at Tottenham in the months to come.
Friedel is out of contract at Spurs in the summer and has previously said he will assess whether to play on at the end of the season, when he will consider whether he feels fit enough to continue and whether his services will be required either at Tottenham or elsewhere.
He could move into coaching when his career ends, something that could also be of interest to Rovers.
“It’s a month to month scenario and towards the end of the season I’ll decide how my body is,” he said.
“You have to also take into account ‘Is there someone that wants you?’ Hopefully it would still be here (Tottenham) but you’d also have to think that the club have made an investment in someone as good as Hugo (Lloris), so what would the role be?
“But as I said in the summer, I’m open to any role.”
Rovers were successful, though, in their attempt to bring in King on loan from Manchester United.
The deal had been agreed in principle on Wednesday before Venky’s yesterday gave the go-ahead for the move.
The pacy forward, who can also play in a wide role, already has four caps for Norway and will provide additional competition up front.
Rovers already have the likes of Jordan Rhodes, Nuno Gomes, Ruben Rochina, Colin Kazim-Richards and Leon Best at the club.
King, who moved to Old Trafford from Valerenga at the age of 16, featured as a late substitute in United’s Champions League defeat to Galatasaray on Tuesday as Sir Alex Ferguson fielded a youthful line-up.
He had previously made one League Cup appearance in 2009 as well as having loan spells at Preston, Hull and German side Borussia Monchengladbach.
Rovers yesterday allowed 20-year-old central defender Jack O’Connell to join League Two side Rotherham on loan until January 5.