WSL transfer deadline day: Emma Sanders answers your questions

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Ellie Roebuck and Mary Earps
England goalkeepers Ellie Roebuck and Mary Earps both have uncertain futures at their clubs

The clock is ticking for Women’s Super League clubs to add to their squads before the winter transfer window shuts on 31 January.

With plenty of speculation lingering, BBC Sport women’s football reporter Emma Sanders has answered your questions before Wednesday’s 23:00 GMT deadline.

Below is a selection of her responses to questions from fans of WSL clubs.


Sarah Bouhaddi
Arsenal have signed ex-France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi on a short-term deal

Amy: Do you think Arsenal need to sign a goalkeeper?

Emma: Arsenal have signed Sarah Bouhaddi on a short-term deal which covers the loss of Sabrina D’Angelo during the Gold Cup. I think that settles their goalkeeping options at the moment.

Rob: If Mary Earps doesn’t leave Manchester United during this window, is it a given that she’ll move to Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer?

Emma: Mary Earps’ situation has still not changed. She is in negotiations with Manchester United and has not ruled out signing a new contract there. Of course interest elsewhere remains but I wouldn’t say it’s a given she will join Arsenal in the summer.

Barb: Are rumours right that Arsenal are trying to sign Filippa Angeldahl? And if yes, is she a primary Arsenal target or a backup target?

Emma: I believe there is genuine interest in Filippa Angeldahl but Manchester City see her as a key player given the injury to Roord. I don’t expect Arsenal to bring in anyone else this window as things stand.

Aston Villa

Laura Blindkilde Brown
Manchester City bid close to £200,000 for Laura Blindkilde Brown

Caitlin: Any updates on if Villa are close to a new centre-back?

Emma: As it stands, I don’t think Villa have reached an agreement for a new centre-back but they will keep working to try and bring one in before the deadline.

Chris: Aston Villa need something with squad rotation and substitutions not having intended impact in games. What or who do you think they need to add?

Emma: The potential departure of Laura Blindkilde Brown could accelerate a search for a midfielder and that is an area I think they will need to look at going forward. Their priority for the window was to sign a full-back which they have in Noelle Maritz. But I am concerned by their ageing team and think they needed to address that this window which they haven’t.


Brighton players pose for a photo before kick-off
Brighton are currently seventh in the WSL

David: With all the new players at Brighton, is it working? Still need time? Where do we need to strengthen most? Add a striker?

Emma: I definitely think it takes time but I have seen improvements and development between those players. Melissa Philipps is a fantastic coach and they have great infrastructure and resources.

They are hopeful there will be one or two more incomings before the deadline passes this month too.


Lena Oberdorf
Lena Oberdorf has scored three league goals for Wolfsburg this season

Adam: Will Chelsea be signing Lena Oberdorf on or before deadline day? Also, any truth in the rumours Sam Kerr has signed a new contract?

Emma: I think it’s unlikely Chelsea will sign Lena Oberdorf this month. Despite reported interest, we have been given no indication that there has been anything agreed between Chelsea and Oberdorf. One thing we can guarantee is that Chelsea are always monitoring the contract situations of Europe’s top players, which will no doubt include Oberdorf.

Robert: Do you think Chelsea meant to go for Ramirez in six or 18 months time but accelerated it because of Kerr’s injury and uncertain future?

Emma: It’s my understanding that Chelsea had always intended to buy Mayra Ramirez, but of course, the injury to Sam Kerr would no doubt have sped up that process and perhaps made it necessary to spend a British record fee in January.

Kobby: Will Chelsea sign another centre-back to partner Bjorn or they are banking their UWCL hopes on Millie Bright getting fit in time?

Emma: Chelsea were pursuing France defender Maelle Lakrar at the beginning of the month but after bringing in Bjorn, I don’t think they will add another one this window as things stand.

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Leicester City

Shannon O'Brien
Shannon O’Brien is expected to stay at Leicester

Joe: Could there be any more ins or outs at Leicester?

Emma: Leicester are done in terms of incomings unless anything dramatic changes within the next 24 hours. I’m told Monique Robinson is set to join Burnley on loan.

Jim: Is it true that Shannon O’Brien could leave Leicester in January as she’s out of contract in the summer?

Emma: I don’t expect Shannon O’Brien to leave – she is part of Leicester’s plans.


Natasha Flint
Natasha Flint has returned to Celtic on loan until the end of the season

Mark: Any more info on the surprise loan of Natasha Flint from Liverpool to Celtic? Seems to have come from nowhere.

Emma: Liverpool feel with the return of Leanne Kiernan they feel they have enough options in attack. Flint was keen for game time elsewhere and I believe there was a mutual feeling she would not have a key role for the club going forward.

It was a deal which suited all parties at the time with six months remaining on her contract. She will see out her time at Celtic where she enjoyed success prior to her Liverpool move.

Liverpool have no plans to bring in anyone else as it stands, despite the recent injury to full-back Taylor Hinds.

Manchester City

Lauren Hemp and Jill Roord
Lauren Hemp has scored five WSL goals for Manchester City this season, while Jill Roord scored six before rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament

Phoebe: City must be looking for midfielders following Jill Roord’s injury and the departures of Castellanos and Blakstad, but who?

Emma: I reported on Monday that Manchester City had lodged a bid for young Aston Villa midfielder Laura Blindkilde Brown for about £200,000, triggering a release clause. They see her as a potential replacement for Roord.

Blindkilde Brown may not be the only point of focus. Barcelona’s 19-year-old midfielder Julia Bartel is also being monitored by a few WSL clubs I’m told, with a view to signing her in the summer.

Whether City are among those interested is yet be known but given recent business between the two clubs, she is likely to be on their radar.

Sebastian: Does Lauren Hemp have any other named clubs apart from Manchester City who have already shown concrete interest in her?

Emma: Lauren Hemp’s situation is an interesting one. I’m told there is genuine interest from Barcelona as she is yet to agree a contract extension with Manchester City. Gareth Taylor made it clear he wanted Hemp to stay and said the club had put down a “substantial offer”. A waiting game for now.

Jenny: Why is there still no news on Ellie Roebuck? Surely she wants to leave Man City, and there have been rumours of offers so why no movement?

Emma: Barcelona have held talks regarding Ellie Roebuck but there are several factors that might need to fall in place to complete the transfer, including the potential movement of goalkeepers currently at the Spanish club.

I’m told Sandra Panos has strong interest from a few WSL clubs. If she was to move, that could accelerate a possible move by Roebuck – who I believe has not signed any pre-contract agreement yet.

There is a possibility that Roebuck will not leave until the summer – with Barcelona favourites to sign her on a free contract – but other WSL clubs have still been monitoring the situation.

Manchester United were one of the clubs sources say were interested, while I believe Brighton were looking at Roebuck after Nicky Evrard, who had joined on loan from Chelsea, returned to her parent club with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

I think this will be an ongoing saga.

Manchester United

Mary Earps
Mary Earps’ Manchester United contract runs out in June and she is yet to agree a new deal

Amy: I haven’t heard any rumours about new signings for Manchester United. Do you think they’ll add new players and if not why?

Emma: I believe Manchester United are trying to bring in a defender before the window closes. They have five defenders currently fit so are keen to have six by the end of the month.

So far, that’s looking unlikely but we saw them make four deadline-day signings in the summer so they will work until late in the window to try and get one in. It could depend on movements at other clubs.

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CJ: What is going on with Mary Earps? It’s not going to be another Russo for the club is it?

Emma: The situation with Earps is unchanged. She is still in negotiations with the club with her contract to expire in June.

West Ham

Izzy Atkinson
Izzy Atkinson made a permanent swich to Crystal Palace in the January transfer window

Michelle: In terms of signings at West Ham what do you think big names can do and what can they bring to an underachieving team?

Emma: West Ham might not be done yet. They are looking to replace players who have departed. For example, Izzy Atkinson’s exit makes room for a forward. They have been in negotiations this week and could announce an arrival on deadline day.

I think the big names bring much-needed experience and leadership. It is an underachieving team but there are also plenty of young players. Hopefully the January recruits can bring some maturity, particularly in midfield.

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