Arsenal Women had a world-record bid for Alessia Russo rejected by Manchester United and are now in talks with Lyon for Signe Bruun; there will also be no second bid from Chelsea Women for Katie McCabe after a "substantial offer" was rejected by Arsenal Women last week
Wednesday 1 February 2023 06:04, UK
Negotiations between Manchester United and Arsenal for Alessia Russo have ended after a world-record bid for the striker was rejected, with the Gunners in talks with Lyon for Signe Bruun.
Arsenal's highest bid was a deal worth around £500,000 but United have reiterated they do not want to sell the striker for any price.
Marc Skinner's side now run the risk of losing the Euro 2022 winner for nothing this summer with Russo out of contract at the end of the season.
The club and player have been in contract negotiations for months and United still wants to keep her long-term.
Russo is now 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.
Arsenal still want to sign a forward by the end of Deadline Day, and Lyon striker Bruun remains a target.
The forward joined Manchester United on loan on Deadline Day last January and is thought to be open to a similar move to north London.
Arsenal have until midnight to get a deal done for Bruun, who has made 29 appearances for Denmark, as it is an international transfer.
Sky Sports News' Anton Toloui:
"Bids came in on Monday, more bids came in on Tuesday and negotiations were taking place.
"But Man United said turned round and said 'no, Alessia Russo is not for sale at any price this window'.
"It's a big move from Man United. Russo is out of contract in the summer and Arsenal knew that. They wanted her in now to improve the squad with Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema both out for most of the season, if not all of the season.
"A big move from Arsenal but it's formally over now. Arsenal have been told that Russo is not for sale.
"It means Manchester United are in a much better position [for the title race], however it does mean that Arsenal are going to double down on efforts to get Signe Bruun in. They have got until midnight to sign her because it's an international deal.
"Lyon don't want to sell but Arsenal are hopeful of doing a deal."
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.
Sky Sports News' Anton Toloui has now reported Chelsea are not planning a second bid before Tuesday evening's 5pm deadline, and McCabe will be staying at Arsenal this month.
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 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 Puskas 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."
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