The final minutes of the January transfer day are fast approaching and the Women’s Super League have seen some big moves but the biggest could still be yet to come.
Manchester United have reportedly rejected a world-record breaking bid from Arsenal for the 23-year-old Lioness heroine Alessia Russo.
Russo helped England to win the European Championship last summer and she has continued her good form in this first half of the WSL season and has helped put the Red Devils top of the table. However, the Gunners have now been keen to bring the striker down to London and have made a late play at stealing her away from their WSL rivals.
The 23-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the season, meaning she could leave the club without a transfer fee next summer but United have reportedly rejected a bid with negotiations set to continue on deadline day.
The current world-record in the WSL was £400,000 which Barcelona paid for the previously Manchester City striker Kiera Walsh on deadline day last summer.
As the January transfer deadline fast approaches, here are some of the biggest moves that have been made in the WSL so far this month…
Arsenal have been one of the busiest clubs in the WSL and have signed five players in the hope of signing their sixth. They have acquired Sabrina d’Angelo, Gio Queiroz, Katherine Kuhl and Victoria Pelova. However, the biggest news that came out of the Gunners camp came earlier on in the month when England’s Jordan Nobbs left for Aston Villa in the hope of more game time.
On her day, Nobbs is one of the best midfielders in the country but has struggled with injury and subsequent game time in the Arsenal camp. The 30-year-old has since joined her fellow Lioness Rachel Daly in Birmingham and with more time on the pitch, she will hope to regain her spot with Sarina Weigman in time for the World Cup this summer.
Similarly to Nobbs, Beth England has moved to Tottenham also in search of more game time with the World Cup looming in the back of their minds. The former Chelsea striker has already scored twice for her new club, who had been struggling to find goals.
England joined Spurs for a reported fee of £250,000, a new record between two WSL clubs, surpassing the 2021 signing of Lauren James from United to Chelsea for juts under £250,000 and she is arguably one of the best signings of the summer.
Joining England at Spurs is the former Arsenal player Mana Iwabuchi. The Japanese midfielder has left the Gunners in hope of more game time, once again, with the World Cup in mind. She already has 37 goals in 85 games on the international stage and will hope to feature in yet another World Cup after she came on as a substitute in the 2011 World Cup final against the USA.
Another club who has been busy this month is the Red Devils who have signed Jayde Riviere, Estelle Cascarino and Lisa Naasland. This will be Riviere’s first full-time professional contract after her time as a student-athlete at the University of Michigan came to an end.
The full-back first made her international debut with Canada at just 16-years-old and with the 22-year-old now in the squad, Red Devils’ Marc Skinner will be able to easily rotate his squad with high-quality players as he looks to secure his team’s highest-ever finish in the league.
However, United have also contended with two high-class players leaving their mix. Aston Villa have signed Lucy Staniforth this transfer season and this could also be one of the best moves made in the WSL. In keeping with the recurring theme, Staniforth has an outside shot at making it to the World Cup this summer and will be hopeful that her move to her sixth WSL club will give her the much needed game time to impress Sarina Wiegman in time.
Reading have also signed the Manchester United midfielder, Jade Moore, on loan which could be one of the best bits of business for the struggling side. Moore is a highly-experienced midfielder who previously played for the club between 2017 and 2020 and the Royals will hope she can soon steer them clear of the relegation zone.