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Alessia Russo: Arsenal make world-record bid for Manchester United and England forward

Arsenal have made a world-record bid for Manchester United striker Alessia Russo; the current record is Keira Walsh's move from Man City to Barcelona for £400,000 in September 2022; Russo's United contract runs out at the end of this season; the WSL transfer deadline is 5pm on Tuesday

Alessia Russo in action for Manchester United
Image: Man Utd have rejected a world-record bid from Arsenal for Alessia Russo

Manchester United have rejected a world-record bid from Arsenal for striker Alessia Russo.

The England forward is out of contract at the end of the season, but United are unwilling to sell the striker so close to Tuesday's 5pm WSL transfer deadline and to reinforce a rival.

Man Utd have been in contract talks with Russo for months but have made little progress.

Russo is therefore free to talk to clubs outside England about a summer move and there has been interest from clubs in the United States.

The current world record for a player is around £400k when Keira Walsh moved to Barcelona from Man City in September 2022.

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Alessia Russo scored an injury-time winner for Man Utd at Arsenal earlier this season

McCabe wanted by champions Chelsea

Sky Sports News reported over the weekend Arsenal had rejected a "substantial offer" from Chelsea for Katie McCabe.

The 27-year-old has 18 months left on her current contract and has played in all 10 of Arsenal's WSL matches this season.

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Arsenal's Katie McCabe during the UEFA Women's Champions League Group C match at Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Thursday October 27, 2022.
Image: Arsenal's Katie McCabe is wanted by Chelsea late in this window

The Gunners are understood to be reluctant to sell McCabe ahead of Tuesday's transfer deadline.

McCabe, who joined the north London side from Shelbourne in December 2015, was voted Arsenal player of the season in 2020/21.

Arsenal sit third in the WSL, three points behind second-placed Chelsea and leaders Manchester United, who are top on goal difference ahead of the Blues.

Earlier this month, Chelsea sold striker Bethany England to Tottenham for a domestic record fee for a British player in the women's game.

The deal is worth a reported £250,000 and broke the previous record set by Lauren James' £200,000 move from Manchester United to Chelsea in 2021.

Russo interview: I'm still just Alessia from a small town!

England's Alessia Russo discusses that backheel goal for the Lionesses against Sweden - nominated for the FIFA Puskas Award. (PA/Getty)
Image: Russo's backheel goal for the Lionesses against Sweden was nominated for the FIFA Puskas Award

Russo has endured a whirlwind past year with the striker part of the England side that won the European Championships last summer.

Her backheel goal in the semi-final against Sweden was nominated for the FIFA Pukas Award, with Russo admitting that accolades like those - alongside a potential world record fee for her - will not change her.

"I still see myself as Alessia. I grew up in a little town," Russo told Sky Sports earlier in January. "My family are so close to me, I think that's a credit to all of them - and myself I guess - that I'm a very light-hearted, easy-going kind of person, but I have really high expectations.

"Even awards like this: it still feels weird to be nominated. I hope to go on and achieve a lot more than just this. As a female footballer and just the person I am, I have to stay grounded and have bigger dreams to fill."


Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this winter? Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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