Arsenal is close to signing Alessia Russo on a free transfer from Manchester United.
United’s 24-year-old Russo has scored 27 goals in 59 appearances in three years, but last season’s WSL runners-up have failed to keep her.
Sky Sports News believes United and Russo had been discussing a new agreement for 18 months, but United only met the forward’s contract demands on the penultimate week of the season, making it too late to keep her.
United delayed despite Arsenal’s two world-record offers for Russo in January.
The forward is one of the top free agents in football this summer, and signing her would signal intent to the rest of the game.
Arsenal are the frontrunners to sign Russo this summer, according to sources.
Russo is focused on England’s World Cup campaign in Australia and New Zealand, which starts next month.
Man Utd’s late bid didn’t entice Russo.
Anton Toloui, Sky Sports News:
Top football clubs always sought Alessia Russo. Arsenal signing her would be a coup.
As they aim to return to the top of the WSL, they appear to have defeated the major US and European clubs.
Manchester United wished Russo luck in her future. Both parties were frustrated during the year-and-a-half discussions.
United offered Russo a “considerable” deal to become the club’s highest-paid player, but it was late.
United must replace Russo and Ona Batlle, who is slated to join Barcelona, to improve on last season’s second-place finish. The team must pay significantly to replace two league stars.
When Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead return, Arsenal’s striking force will be even stronger with Russo’s arrival.
Stoney: Russo not joining NWSL
San Diego Wave manager Casey Stoney, Russo’s former United manager, claimed she wanted to bring the striker to the NWSL.
“Trust me, if Alessia Russo was coming to the NWSL, I would be in the conversation,” Stoney told reporters Thursday.
She was my childhood mascot. United signed her. Alessia and I are close.
“You’re talking about players like that. You’re ensuring they’ll consider you.
“She’s not coming here.”
Who will move this summer when the transfer window begins on June 14 and ends at 11pm on September 1 in England and midnight in Scotland?