Joshua King conceded it would have been "a dream come true" had his proposed move from Bournemouth to Manchester United gone through on transfer deadline day.

The Norway striker was linked with a return to United on the last day of the January transfer window, but talks broke down after Bournemouth reportedly put a £40million price-tag on the 28-year-old.

Cherries boss Eddie Howe explained King had endured a trying couple of days as the possibility of re-joining his former club emerged.

And while King has returned his focus to helping Bournemouth avoid relegation from the Premier League, he did not hide how much he would have loved to go back to Old Trafford.

"How close it was I have no complete answer to," King told reporters. "I have to watch what I say.

"I had some faith that it was going to happen and it was a bit sensitive for me considering that I moved to England as a 16-year-old to achieve my dream and wanted to reach that goal at Manchester United.

"When you hear that you are connected 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 do not know. I'm a Bournemouth player and I really enjoy it here. But it had been a dream come true, I will not lie.

"That didn't happen and I'm going to give everything to Bournemouth as long as I’m in this club."

King, who scored the winner against United in a November Premier League clash, was grateful to the support shown to him by Howe.

"The coach was absolutely fantastic with me during those days," he added.

"He was very helpful with me. I have respect for how he behaved with me during the little episode."

United ultimately signed former Watford striker Odion Ighalo on loan from Shanghai Shenhua.

Sheffield United continued their remarkable Premier League campaign with a 2-1 comeback victory over lowly Bournemouth on Sunday.

Callum Wilson gave the Cherries, buoyed by back-to-back top-flight wins, a 13th-minute lead at Bramall Lane when he thrashed home from six yards, but the hosts fought back to move to within two points of fourth spot.

Billy Sharp netted his first goal since scoring a late leveller in the 1-1 opening-day draw between these two sides to level it up in first-half stoppage time, the veteran striker poking in after Bournemouth failed to clear their lines.

Substitute John Lundstram sealed the three points for Chris Wilder's side, keeping his cool to slot the winner past goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale six minutes from time.

Beaten Bournemouth remain just two points clear of the relegation zone.

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 were 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 were reported to have rejected United's advances and they 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.

Mikel Arteta has praised Mesut Ozil for his "incredible" attitude after restoring the Arsenal midfielder to his starting XI for the 1-1 draw at Bournemouth.

Ozil missed the final game of interim boss Freddie Ljungberg's spell in charge at Everton due to a foot injury, though the Swede said he would not have featured anyway after he reacted angrily to getting substituted in the loss at Manchester City.

Midfielder Ozil had barely featured under Unai Emery earlier in the season either but Arteta, appointed last week, called the German "a massive player" at his first news conference.

He backed up that comment by naming Ozil in his first team and Arteta was impressed with what he saw from Ozil at Bournemouth, where Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cancelled out Dan Gosling's opener.

"To be fair, his attitude in training since the day that I walked in the building has been incredible," Arteta told reporters.

"I've seen this and I said I would give a clean slate to everybody and that was for him too.

"When we were preparing and watching where we could hurt the opponent, we believed he could be a key point.

"Like this, he responded, did what he had to do and we could have put two or three goals in the net because of him."

The Gunners did not have a shot on target in the first period and trailed at the break after Gosling struck 10 minutes before half-time.

However, Arteta was pleased by the reaction after the break as Aubameyang's 12th Premier League goal of the season ensured he avoided a losing start.

"I was worried to see what would happen if we conceded and we did, but I was very pleased with the character they showed," Arteta added.

"The way they came in at half-time, their faces, their reactions and how much they wanted it... Normally when you are in this process, belief goes down and a lot of things from the past can come back but that didn't happen, the opposite did, and that's really positive."

Arteta took the Gunners job following a spell as Pep Guardiola's assistant at Manchester City and Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe thought there was an obvious shift in the Gunners' tactical approach.

"We assumed their philosophy would change and I think it did," he said.

"It was quite visible to see them playing in a slightly different way.

"The system was different but we couldn't plan for that.

"We had no idea really what they were going to do, we had to plan for us and make sure we were better than we were against Burnley."

There comes a time in one's life when one has a sufficient number of scarves. Too many perhaps. Enough, some might say, that if one donated half of said scarves to a charity shop, said shop would be able to display an eye-catching feature of scarves through the decades.

Thanks Mum, for another scarf this Christmas. No, no, of course it'll come in very useful.

Mikel Arteta's Arsenal wardrobe is crammed with old scarves and all sorts of knick-knacks the new head coach would surely never have chosen for himself. A dressing room where too little fits the bill.

Arsenal's squad is that box of cards bearing bad knock-knock jokes that relatives giddily hand over, having briefly taken leave of their senses in a department store trolley dash.

Knock knock. Who's there? Mesut. Mesut who? Mesut Ozil, yours for £350,000 a week.

Knock knock. Who's there? Nicolas. Nicolas who? Nicolas Pepe, yours for £72million.

Ba-dum. Sigh.

The jokes are on Arsenal, beset by self-flagellating, unfunny punchlines. Or rather, there's been nothing funny about the Ozil problem, besides the dark humour behind Arsenal once considering it great value for money to offer him those extravagant wages.

It was not always the case, but recently he has been as useful as the fifth pair of drivers' gloves in the last seven Christmases, the Billie Eilish LP when you asked for Billy Childish.

There's no receipt, and your statutory rights to a refund have expired. Arteta is stuck with Ozil, so he might as well get the best from him. That is why Arteta described him as "a massive player for this football club" before Arsenal's Boxing Day trip to Bournemouth, where a 1-1 draw was a result Arsenal might have taken after being distinctly second best before the break.

The German's recent airing of his political views and his efforts for charities suggest he is more thoughtful, more engaged, than the average footballer. At the same time, his Arsenal performances have hinted he might now be that average footballer, or that he has been slowly dragged down to the level of some around him.

On his money, Arsenal effectively have to play him and pray for the return of the end product that, any other faults notwithstanding, unmistakably was once part of his game.

And yet Ozil - one assist and no goals in seven Premier League games now this season - is far from being the only choice from the Arsenal selection box to have looked questionably out of date.

Calum Chambers and his 40 per cent tackle success rate in 13 league outings, before being dropped for the Bournemouth game, invites questions about his right to be defined as a defender.

Arteta recalled Ozil, but to what effect? A few neat early passes from the former Real Madrid player and an eye-catching flick in midfield to keep a break moving showed the technical side of his game is unimpeachable.

But Ozil has won almost 100 caps for Germany and started for his country in a World Cup final. Surely he should be delivering more.

At times in Bournemouth he clung to the right touchline like a fearful child to the edge of a swimming pool, pinging short passes while carrying nothing of the threat posed by, say, Josh King down the same flank for the opposition.

Yet when Ozil ventured infield, which is where Arteta is surely encouraging him to spend his time, there were flashes of beneficial quality, and one sublime pass to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should have been rewarded with a goal.

By the time he was hauled off with 15 minutes remaining, Ozil was producing one of his best recent games for Arsenal, even if he squandered a decent chance when mis-kicking with a volley on his right foot.

Arteta will fancy this was a small step in the right direction from his inherited number 10. But where Ozil earned a pass mark, the way Arsenal were so often stretched by Bournemouth showed their mid-table position is about right. Chelsea and Manchester United are next for Arteta's men.

Knock knock. Who's there? Same old. Same old who? Same old problems for Arsenal, a pantomime in motion. But perhaps now a closing act to this bleak midwinter's farce is within sight.

Frank Lampard has demanded more urgency from Chelsea after they suffered a fourth defeat in five Premier League games against Bournemouth on Saturday.

Chelsea were poor against Eddie Howe's men – who went into the game on a run of five straight top-flight losses – and scarcely tested Cherries goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale before Dan Gosling's 84th-minute winner, given by VAR after it had initially been ruled out by referee Graham Scott.

The Blues come up against former manager Jose Mourinho when they travel to Tottenham next weekend and Lampard has demanded his side loosen the shackles in which they appear to be playing.

"If we are not at our best and if we don't have enough, then we need to find another way," he told a media conference.

"We need urgency in our play. Getting it through the lines. Don't play safe; we played too safe.

"In front of our home fans, it's clear we are not playing well enough. We are creating a lot but giving away silly goals. We didn't create enough. We didn't get the fans excited enough."

Asked if he was blaming the result on the poor atmosphere created by fans, Lampard responded: "I'm not blaming them. I would be the first to say that, but I am never going to say that today. The play was too slow. I won't blame the fans. The responsibility is on the players.

"I have been in the dressing room playing after those games and I am not going to draw a line between me and the players. We have a long week where they can go away a couple of days and, when they come back, train hard for Tottenham. We have to admit at the moment it is not good enough."

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was delighted with his side's display and hopes the VAR decision in their favour can act as a catalyst for a run of improved results, with Gosling's goal allowed to stand after an initial offside flag.

"We certainly needed it," he said. "It was the best we have fought and competed. We looked a real threat in the second half. Everyone gave everything.

"It is a difficult one [the VAR decision]. It happened in a flash. I don't know if they stopped. I thought it would be tight. VAR took a long time. We are delighted it bounced in our favour.

"You are in the moment so are just waiting. It was hopefully something that turns our fortunes. There were some great performances."

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is finally back to "100 per cent" fitness, according to manager Jurgen Klopp.

The Egypt international scored the final goal of Liverpool's 3-0 win over Bournemouth as they clocked up their 15th victory out of 16 Premier League fixtures this term.

It was Salah's 63rd strike in his 100th Premier League appearance, and only three players - Alan Shearer (79), Ruud van Nistelrooy (68) and Sergio Aguero (64) - have bettered that tally in their first century of games.

Salah had been struggling with an ankle problem since a clash with Leicester City's Hamza Choudhury back in October, but Klopp is confident the player is now fully fit.

"He looks now 100 per cent," Klopp said in his post-match news conference after the win over the Cherries.

"It's long ago that he got that knock, but you carry things like this with you when have game after game after game. Mo was absolutely strong."

Meanwhile, Klopp urged his Liverpool defence to follow up their first clean sheet in 14 games in all competitions with another when they play in a crunch Champions League match next week.

European champions Liverpool head to Salzburg, where they know a point will be enough to return to the last 16.

Klopp added: "I forgot how a clean sheet feels, to be honest. It's great, we should have them more often. 

"It was the most-used word in the dressing room by the boys, 'clean sheet, clean sheet, clean sheet'. Obviously, everybody was desperate for that. Now we have it, so let's have it more often. 

"The next game where a clean sheet would be useful is already around the corner - against Salzburg on Tuesday."

Bournemouth have been beaten in each of their past five games, and Cherries boss Eddie Howe lamented the loss of two more players from his already injury-stricken squad.

Defender Nathan Ake and striker Callum Wilson were both taken off with apparent hamstring injuries and will be assessed by the club's medical team over the next few days.

"The squad is stretched," Howe said. "It is there to cope with the injuries, but the difficulty for us is we are getting injuries but not getting players back.

"The mentality of the group is strong but damaged in confidence. We can always do better. We can always question ourselves and say we could have done better, but the quality of the opposition was very strong."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has time on his side at Manchester United.

Mauricio Pochettino's name looms large at Old Trafford but it seems the incumbent is going nowhere.

According to reports, Solskjaer will not be sacked regardless of whether United qualify for Europe this season.

 

TOP STORY – SOLSKJAER FREE FROM EUROPEAN ANXIETY

Failure to secure a top-six finish in the Premier League will not cost Solskjaer his job, reports the Daily Star.

United are struggling for consistency and appear destined to miss out on the Champions League places.

But while executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is "long-time admirer" of Pochettino, he will reportedly keep faith with Solskjaer even if middling results end in the Red Devils missing out on Europe.

ROUND-UP

- Quique Sanchez Flores' ill-fated second spell in charge of Watford will result in his dismissal on Sunday, according to The Athletic.

- It could be one Spaniard out and another in at Arsenal. The Mirror claims Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta is now top of the club's shortlist of potential replacements for Unai Emery.

- Everton want Bournemouth boss and boyhood Toffees fan Eddie Howe to succeed the under-pressure Marco Silva, reports the Mirror.

- Borussia Dortmund have dispatched scouts to watch teenage Sao Paulo winger Antony, says Goal, as the Bundesliga side line up a replacement for Jadon Sancho.

- Fiorentina have lost patience with Vincenzo Montella and are set to replace him with Gennaro Gattuso in a mirror image of the move Milan made two years ago. Calciomercato claims the change is imminent, with the Viola stinging from a 1-0 loss to Lecce.

Tottenham are on the hunt for a new manager after sacking Mauricio Pochettino.

With Spurs 14th in the Premier League and winless in their past five domestic matches, the club made the decision to relieve Pochettino and his coaching staff of their duties on Tuesday.

The decision brought an end to a five-and-a-half-year tenure that promised so much but delivered nothing in the way of silverware.

Spurs fans will expect a high-profile appointment to replace Pochettino and get the best out of a group of players that have been inconsistent this season.

In a statement announcing Pochettino's departure, chairman Daniel Levy said: "We have a talented squad. We need to re-energise and look to deliver a positive season for our supporters."

Here are the managers expected to be in contention for the task.

 

Jose Mourinho

It is coming up for a year since Jose Mourinho departed Manchester United, where the man who won the Premier League with Chelsea three times lifted the EFL Cup and Europa League before making way for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

He has since taken to punditry and his appearances have shown a marked softening in the dour demeanour that characterised his turbulent spell at Old Trafford.

Spurs might be the beneficiaries of Mourinho's new sunny disposition should they give him the task of clearing the storm clouds over Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Massimiliano Allegri

Having led Juventus to five consecutive Serie A titles, Allegri – who has reportedly been learning English – is a man whose domestic record is difficult to argue with.

The first manager in Europe's top five leagues to win four consecutive doubles, Allegri was a trophy machine in Turin, but he has yet to be tested outside Italian football.

Carlo Ancelotti

Under pressure at Napoli, where he has failed to win any of his past five games in all competitions, Ancelotti might jump at the chance to return to the Premier League.

The 60-year-old guided Chelsea to a domestic double in 2009-10, becoming the first Italian manager to win the Premier League, and since then he has lifted the Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain, the Champions League with Real Madrid, and the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.

If Tottenham want pedigree, Ancelotti has it in spades.

Eddie Howe

Bournemouth have been quietly shaping up for a top-half finish in the Premier League table this season, and Howe did his reputation no harm by beating United at the Vitality Stadium on November 2.

The 41-year-old is a former Bournemouth player and loyal servant as manager for seven years, so he would not leave the club on a whim, but the offer of a long-term project at a club the size of Tottenham might be the right sort of opportunity.

Rafael Benitez

Former Chelsea and Liverpool boss Benitez has the sort of record in the Premier League and Europe that might appease Tottenham fans, should Levy try to pry the Spaniard away from Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang.

Levy will want a manager who can turn Spurs' fortunes around quickly and Benitez reached 100 wins with Liverpool in 181 Premier League games – though Pochettino reached the milestone in 169 matches in north London.

Julian Nagelsmann

Since making a name for himself by steering Hoffenheim clear of relegation in 2015-16 and up to fourth by the end of the following campaign, Nagelsmann has continued to win admirers across Europe through the attractive, attacking football played by his RB Leipzig team.

At the age of just 32, Nagelsmann is one of the hottest managerial prospects in the game and Leipzig are second in the Germany's top flight. Any Spurs fans who saw the way they beat Mainz 8-0 this month may well hope he is given serious thought.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer conceded he may have got his team selection wrong while admitting Manchester United "flattered to deceive" in the 1-0 loss to Bournemouth.

United were unchanged from their 3-1 loss at Norwich City six days earlier but were unable to record a fourth straight away victory in all competitions as Joshua King scored a first-half winner.

All of the outfield players in the starting XI featured against Chelsea in the EFL Cup in midweek, too, and there was a notable lack of intensity from Solskjaer's side.

"I don't think it's the effort or the want to do well," Solskjaer told reporters at a news conference.

"It's natural when you play Wednesday night and then [play the] early kick-off on Saturday that the physical stats might be affected.

"That's maybe my mistake, maybe I should have, could have, played a couple of others with fresh legs, but I thought the ones that played against Norwich deserved another chance."

Anthony Martial, who came off the bench at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, once again operated as United's striker ahead of an attacking trio of Marcus Rashford, Andreas Pereira and Daniel James.

Yet none of that quartet came away with any credit, with Pereira and James both taken off while Martial and Rashford mustered a combined two shots between them.

"I think as the whole team, we started well but we were lacking a bit of that end product and the quality at the end," Solskjaer added when asked specifically about Pereira's below-par display.

"That just doesn't apply to Andreas. I thought the front four looked promising but just flattered to deceive a little bit today.

"It looked like we could create chances, but we just didn't have the last pass or finish. That's something we need to improve on."

With Paul Pogba still out injured and the transfer window not open for another two months, Solskjaer is hoping others in his squad can step up and solve his team's lack of creativity.

"To win games you need to score goals," Solskjaer said. 

"I'm sure Anthony and Marcus are going to get their share of goals. Anthony is going to improve but we need more creativity.

"But we've got loads of players here in the squad who could create more. It's not just looking outside, we have to deal with what we have."

Bournemouth had not scored for 358 minutes in the Premier League before King struck against his old club, while the Cherries also kept a third successive clean sheet in the top flight.

"I was very pleased with the players," Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said in quotes published on his club's website.

“We felt we needed the win for our own confidence and impetus. It was a really key game."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given Manchester United a solid base for an encouraging future, according to Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe.

Scrutiny on Solskjaer's position as United manager has intensified during a mostly disappointing start to the new season.

While he has been praised for promoting academy players into the first-team picture, problems with goalscoring and a failure to replace Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera in the transfer window has led many to fear Solskjaer's long-term plan for the club will come at too great a cost in the short term.

However, a draw with Premier League leaders Liverpool and three subsequent away wins - the most recent a 2-1 defeat of Chelsea in the EFL Cup on Wednesday - has helped to restore confidence in Solskjaer's methods.

Howe has certainly been impressed with the way Solskjaer has begun to reconstruct the team with a view to turning the 13-time Premier League champions back into title-challengers.

"Certainly, looking at their last few games, which I have in great detail, I think they have played very well," Howe said on Friday. "The game against Chelsea was a very strong performance.

"They'll be pleased with their attacking play and defensive structures. Then, looking back at Norwich City, playing them away is a tough game and I thought they were very professional, did the job and got a really good [3-1] win.

"There's positive signs for them. They've got quality players, a very good manager who has given them real stability. He's working to the future to build a new Manchester United.

"I imagine it is [hard to work under that level of pressure]. I think he's handled himself really well and done an excellent job to this point."

United face Bournemouth on Saturday looking to extend a seven-game unbeaten run against the Cherries.

Their most recent visit to the Vitality Stadium was only settled by a 92nd-minute Marcus Rashford goal, though, and Howe is confident they can give United another stern test.

"Last year was a really tight game. It swung their way in the last few seconds, but we gave them a good match," he said.

"The game we won here in our first Premier League season, that was a historic moment for us. That gave us real confidence in a time when we needed it.

"We've had some tough games at Old Trafford, some difficult moments, but here [at home] we've been pretty good against them.

"We need a good start, we need the crowd absolutely with us and we really want this ground pumping."

Unai Emery believes a well-organised Arsenal can be satisfied with achieving their objective of going third in the Premier League before the international break. 

David Luiz's first goal for the club proved all the Gunners needed for a narrow 1-0 win over Bournemouth at Emirates Stadium on Sunday. 

The centre-back escaped Callum Wilson's attention to head in a ninth-minute Nicolas Pepe corner and send the home side to within a point of second-placed Manchester City, who suffered a shock 2-0 loss at home to Wolves. 

Arsenal struggled to create openings after the early goal and were put under pressure by an improved Bournemouth after half-time. 

But a robust defensive display secured a fourth clean sheet from six games in all competitions and ticked a box for the head coach.

"It was our objective today," Emery said after leapfrogging Leicester City into third. "For our confidence it was important. 

"Maybe in the second half we were struggling more than we wanted and maybe in some moments we felt that pressure.

"For me it's one step more for the young players, for us. We didn't feel fear with that moment when the opposition was pushing us." 

He added: "We are very happy with that result and very proud of that result." 

David Luiz and right-back Calum Chambers were especially impressive at the back for Arsenal, who remain undefeated in all competitions since a 3-1 August loss away to league leaders Liverpool. 

Emery praised Arsenal's match-winner for having an uplifting effect on a squad that finished fifth last term. 

"He is very positive," the Gunners boss said of the former Chelsea defender.

"He is always speaking about positive things. He is helping the young players. 

"He came into the squad late but his commitment is very high." 

Though clear-cut chances were scarce, Bournemouth might have salvaged a maiden point at Emirates Stadium had striker Wilson opted to shoot rather than pass after bursting into the box shortly after the interval. 

A tentative start and inability to make more of a stronger second-half showing left Cherries manager Eddie Howe frustrated but not downbeat. 

"We were too reactive against Arsenal," he said. "You can't do that against good players. 

"When we play well we're a match for anybody. Whenever we've played near to our best we've had a chance to win the game." 

Eddie Howe described speculation linking Bournemouth's Callum Wilson with a transfer to Manchester United as "pointless", and backed the striker to maintain his recent good form.

Wilson has scored five goals in seven Premier League appearances for the Cherries this season, helping the club to a three-game unbeaten run ahead of their trip to Arsenal on Sunday.

The 27-year-old's performances have led to suggestions he could be the solution to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's attacking problems at Old Trafford, but Howe indicated such rumours are to be expected when a player is performing so well.

Howe told reporters: "To hear transfer links and rumours at this stage, when the window is shut and a long way from being open, for me it's pointless talking about it.

"I take with a pinch of salt, to be honest, at this stage of the season. There's nothing that we can do, that Callum can do, other than perform well.

"That influences rumours and things like that at this stage of the season. He's just got to focus on his next game and give his best for this club."

Wilson, who signed a four-year contract at Bournemouth in July, was named in Gareth Southgate's England squad for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

Southgate included Wilson along with Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Tammy Abraham, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford in his attacking options, and Howe backed his player to carry his club form onto the international stage.

"It's deserved," said Howe of Wilson's call-up. "I think he's had a good start to the season.

"I think with Callum we have just been focusing on his performances and making sure he delivers what we need for the team.

"On the back of that, we have always said we feel he will score goals if he gets the finer points of his performance right.

"I think he has and now he's in a confident mood – that's a great sign for us and for him."

Charlie Daniels will miss the rest of the 2019-20 season due to injury, Bournemouth have confirmed.

The defender sustained a dislocated patella in the Premier League defeat to Manchester City last weekend.

Daniels, 32, underwent medical tests that showed the extent of the injury, which is to his right knee.

"We are devastated for Charlie, who had worked so hard to come back from his previous knee injury on his left knee in the second half of last season," said Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe.

"Our worst fears were confirmed following scans this week. Charlie is a big character around this club, he has been a huge part of our journey and our rise through the leagues and he will continue to be just as important while undergoing his recovery.

"He will receive the best possible treatment and rehabilitation while he goes through this process, as well as the love and support of everyone here at the club."

Daniels wrote on Twitter: "The highs and lows of football. I've come back once and I'll come back again. Thank you to everyone who has been in touch over the past few days. Your support means everything."

Daniels had only returned to action this month after injuring his other kneecap in April.

Bournemouth, already without midfielder David Brooks, have four points from their first three Premier League games of the season. Howe's men are away to Leicester City on Saturday.

Bournemouth's poor record against Manchester City is inspiring Eddie Howe to oversee an improvement and he believes halting Raheem Sterling will be vital to avoiding defeat.

The Cherries won promotion to the Premier League under Howe in 2015, yet they have never beaten City in the competition, losing all eight of their top-flight meetings by an aggregate score of 25-3.

But Howe says Bournemouth's dismal recent history in this fixture – with City set to visit on Sunday – does not cause him concern, instead providing a motivating factor.

"It inspires me," Howe told a news conference. "We've got to try to turn that around and use that record to inspire us in this game.

"I don't think we're the only team to suffer a bad record against Manchester City in recent years.

"They're an outstanding team and, every time we've played against them, we've come off the pitch learning more about ourselves and what we have to do to grow and become better.

"We try to embrace these challenges and not look at it fearfully.

"I think the two games against them last season were pretty strong [3-0 and 1-0 defeats]. We felt we were competitive without showing our best attributes, but we managed to limit their main strengths for spells of the games.

"They've just got quality and they can hurt you in any moment of the game and we've just come on the wrong side of the games against them, but I'd like to think we're getting closer.

"We know historically that, if we perform at our very best, we've got a chance of beating anybody and I think that's been the story of our Premier League journey."

Sterling has been a particularly problematic figure for Bournemouth, netting eight goals in seven meetings, along with a pair of assists.

The England forward hit the first Premier League hat-trick of his career in his first match against Bournemouth in 2015 and has since developed into a proven lscorer, netting four times in his opening two league games this term.

Howe said: "He's a player who's done very well against us in recent seasons and he's an outstanding talent.

"He's added a huge consistent run of goals to his game, which has made him even better, and he's certainly someone who we'll have to keep quiet.

"You look through their team though and they've got other players in the attacking positions that you're going to have to deal with, but we hope to keep him quiet and nullify his strengths. He's certainly in very good form at the moment."

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