Manchester United could lose Keira Barry on a free transfer as negotiations with English striker over first professional deal hit a standstill
- Keira Barry turned 18 and can now sign her first professional contract
- United boss Marc Skinner has expressed his desire to keep the striker
- The club is yet to make a formal offer and now four other clubs are circling
Manchester United are at risk of losing England youth striker Keira Barry on a free transfer after the club stalled on contract negotiations.
Barry, who spent last season on loan at Derby County, turned 18 last week and can now sign her first professional deal.
United boss Marc Skinner expressed his desire to keep Barry at United at the end of last season but the club is yet to make a formal offer and now four other Women’s Super League clubs are circling.
Champions Chelsea are one of the sides interested but a deal may prove tricky.
Everton, Brighton and Bristol City are also interested in the England U19 international. Should Barry leave United, the club would not be entitled to any compensation.
Manchester United are at risk of losing England youth striker Keira Barry on a free transfer
FA rules state that players in the women’s game can move before signing a first professional contract at 18 without their club receiving a fee.
This is in contrast to the men’s game, which has a detailed system of compensation that has been established by FIFA.
United have already lost England forward Alessia Russo, who is set to join Arsenal on a free transfer, while Ona Batlle’s move to Barcelona was confirmed on Monday morning.
It appears that several different staff members have been involved in contract talks with a range of players over the last few months.
Chelsea, Everton, Brighton and Bristol City are interested in the England youth striker
Sam Barnett, who deals with contracts on the men’s side, was drafted in to help United’s head of women’s football Polly Bancroft a few months ago.
It’s understood United’s new transfer negotiator Matt Hargreaves and women’s player recruitment lead Harvey Bussell have also been involved in discussions with agents and players.
Russo’s representatives are believed to have been frustrated about the number of different people they had to negotiate with and how long it took the club to agree to meet their terms.
United are understood to be trying to sign Brighton and England forward Katie Robinson while 17-year-old Scotland midfielder Emma Watson is expected to join from Rangers.
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