Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Arsenal Women make world record bid for Manchester United’s Alessia Russo- report

Arsenal Women have made a world record bid for Manchester United striker Alessia Russo according to David Ornstein of the Athletic. The Gunners have been trying all month for a striker after ACL injuries to Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema.

Brazilian forward Debinha was a big target earlier in the month but she decided to stay in the US and sign for Kansas City Current. Since then, the Gunners have been tracking Benfica’s Canadian striker Cloe Lacasse.

However, as reported by Arseblog News on Sunday morning, that negotiation reached a dead end with Benfica unwilling to sell. Now they have made a world record move for United striker Alessia Russo.

The 23-year-old has five goals in nine WSL games so far this season and leads the line for England. Arsenal wanted to sign Russo when she returned to England from college in the US in September 2020. Russo is a long-time friend of Arsenal defender Lotte Wubben-Moy.

David describes the offer as a world record fee, which would eclipse the £400,000 Barcelona paid Manchester City for Keira Walsh this summer.

Eidevall has been adamant about Arsenal’s need for a prolific goalscorer, telling Arseblog News on Sunday, “I’m hopeful (on bringing a striker in), but if it hasn’t happened yet then of course it is not a guarantee. But it’s really important for us like I have been saying, it’s a big moment for us if we can be successful getting this player.”

Manchester United are currently top of the WSL but Russo’s contract expires in the summer and she has been reluctant to extend to this point with the likes of Lyon and Chelsea also interested.

The deadline for domestic transfers in the WSL is 5pm on Tuesday and 11pm for overseas transfers.

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Marc Skinner said “every player has a price” after Man Utd sold Jackie Groenen to PSG, so I guess it’s not entirely impossible.


Selling your best player to your title rivals in the middle of the season would be unusual


Ona Batlle is their best player but I take your point. The extenuating circumstance is she has refused a new contract many times at United so if they think she will definitely leave for free in the summer, why not take a world record fee? They have many other forward options on the bench though they are admittedly not at Russo’s level and Russo does also have an injury record. So is she worth forgoing world record money and continuing to pay her wages to keep her the final 4 months of the season? They aren’t clear of Chelsea or… Read more »


Agree on Ona

Funsho Patrick


Meep meep

Would bring in a home grown player as well

Fun Gunner

This bid shows how much we know we need a striker! All you can say is fingers crossed. At least we know the club have strained every sinew to get a player in.


Agreed, can’t see it happening unfortunately but this is exactly the kind of ambitious signing the club should be going for.

Fun Gunner

Doesn’t look likely now, sob, sob – MU have turned down our bid (Monday night). If we get no-one in this window, then perhaps we could make a pre-contract agreement for Russo to move in the summer when her contract is up. I assume that, although she clearly wasn’t our first choice and we are desperate, we must also be very keen as this is the second time we’ve tried to sign her.


Unfortunately for us domestic teams cannot access the 6 month window for precontracts. Only international clubs are allowed to discuss and offer Russo a precontract. Maybe our bid was a way of legally communicating to her that we are interested so please don’t sign a precontract with a club outside the country.

Fun Gunner

Ah, didn’t know that! Thanks.


No problem. It’s a strange regulatory environment that gives an advantage (even incentive?) to foreign clubs taking the talented players away from the WSL. Russo may end up taking a foreign club’s precontract due to these rules – she may not want to risk getting injured without her future secured in a contract and/or having to wait until a busy World Cup summer to be able to open talks with other WSL clubs about a contract.


Russo is a good player—maybe even very good–but not worth a “world-record offer,” IMO. That would suggest that Arsenal were desperate. And in the end she stays with ManU.

Fun Gunner

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but if she has a) refused and extension and b) so far not signed for Lyon or Chelsea… does that not mean we have a good chance? There isn’t really a higher level of club or league available.

Fun Gunner

Anyway, I will now be squatting on the tinternet for the next 22 hours, so cheers for that, Tim! 🙂


I remember arguing about this possibility but it became less likely since Man United are in the title race this season. It doesn’t help that we lost to them at the Emirates


Fingers crossed, Would be a fantastic signing and born in Maidstone, closer to her family with the Gunners


Some player. Would be an outstanding coup!

Peter Story Teller

Would be a fine acquisition but just a pity we couldn’t have got her signature for next to nothing two years ago at least we have a more sensible recruitment policy now… We need bread today not (forever) jam tomorrow!

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

No surprise that they’ve said no, despite the fact she could leave for a free in the summer.


400,001 bid made I believe


Would love to sign her but it wouldn’t seem right to decide a title race by buying your rivals players even if it is man u. Hope we get her in the summer.


How is this being funded, only when Viv got her pay rise there were cutbacks in the women’s and girls section of the club

Peter Story Teller

We could use the Chelsea technique of putting players on 400 year contracts then it only works out to £1000 per year!
Great investment!


Would have preferred Beth England for 250k as she is excellent in the press.


Why could we not get Sophia Smith from the Portland Thorns…at least on loan ?


She’s Portland’s best player–why would they loan her away? You mean for a few months during their off-season? She’s a better player than Russo (or Blackstinius), IMO, and certainly one of the more talented young center-forwards in the game–very quick when she gets the ball in the attacking third, and she can shoot/score. She’s one reason why talk of the U.S. women’s NT fading as the international big dog will probably prove off the mark.

Gunner H

It seems refusal is based upon MU’s hope that she will renew prior to expiry.

Russo is a brilliant young player but Arsenal’s 500k Offer may simply be an opening play with a view towards a potential actual summer transfer.

Is she worth 500k, given she is injury prone?

And if Keira Walsh is worth 300k, then surely our “Golden Girl” Leah must value at 1 Million!

I reckon Kim even at 32, must also be worth 1 Million given her immense contribution and abilities all over the field.

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