Manchester United reject world record deadline day bid from Arsenal for striker
The Red Devils could lose their star striker for free in six months, but that hasn't stopped them from keeping hold of their prized asset
Manchester United have rejected a world record bid from Arsenal for England striker Alessia Russo, despite the 23-year-old only having six months remaining on her contract.
Keira Walsh currently holds the transfer record in women's football, when she moved from Manchester City to Barcelona in September 2022 for £400,000.
The bid made by Arsenal, though, is reportedly more than that, despite Russo being available for free in the upcoming summer should she decide to run her contract down. With fewer than six months remaining on her contract, clubs are also able to officially talk to Russo and make her an offer.
The deadline for domestic transfers in the Women's Super League (WSL) is 17:00 GMT today (Tuesday 31 January).
Russo turned down a contract extension at Manchester United in June 2022, prior to winning Euro 2022 with England where excelled, scoring four goals.
Manchester United have continued negotiations with Russo throughout this period, still keen to tie her down to an extension.
Indeed, Manchester United are currently leading Chelsea in the WSL on goal difference, with Arsenal a further three points behind but with a game in hand.
Selling her to a key rival could seriously dent the Red Devils hopes of winning their first-ever WSL title, just five years after being founded. In nine WSL games this season, Russo has scored five goals - including a last-minute winner against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in November.
In total, Russo has bagged 17 goals in 35 WSL appearances for United since joining from North Carolina Tar Heels three years ago.
Her performances and the minimal time remaining on her contract has attracted plenty of interest from clubs around the world. Top teams in the United States are keeping tabs on the 23-year-old, while Chelsea - where she started her senior career - and European champions Lyon are also interested and could make offers to Manchester United before the deadline.
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Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.