King was jailed for 18 months last October for sexual assault and causing actual bodily harm to a woman in December 2008 but is due out in time for the new football season.

His agent Tony Finnigan has claimed interest in his services is high, with Boothroyd, who managed King during the pair's time together at Watford, thought to be one of those mulling over a move.

Boothroyd tonight said that he was keen to lend a supportive ear to the former Wigan, Hull and Middlesbrough striker but stopped short of confirming he would like to bring him to the Ricoh Arena.

Boothroyd, speaking to Adrian Durham and Darren Gough's Drive Time show on talkSPORT Radio 1089am, said: "People put two and two together and come up with the answer that he will be joining Coventry as soon as he gets out.

"Marlon's still in prison and I'm sure as soon as he does come out he may well give me a call. We may well have a chat but that's as far as it will go.

"I don't condone for a second what happened with Marlon since he left Watford but I know Marlon. I know Marlon King the dad, Marlon King the husband and Marlon King the footballer.

"I'm not going to just throw someone on the scrapheap just because he made a mistake, as grave a mistake as that might be."

Boothroyd accepts that dealing with King represents a potential ethical minefield for him and his club but is ready to confront that head on.

"Clubs have a moral responsibility to fans and to communities but we all have a responsibility as human beings not to turn your back on people," he said.

"It would be the easiest thing in the world not to take the call but I think it's something that needs dealing with.

"Will people want to sign Marlon King? I'm absolutely sure. Will they have to think long and hard about what they do? Absolutely. Will they have to weigh up the pros and cons? Absolutely.

"And when you know him and you've worked with him and you know the good and the bad then you have to take that decision. But we are nowhere near that decision yet."