Manchester United striker Alessia Russo insisted that she is ‘loving playing right now’ when quizzed about her future at the club after scoring the winner in Saturday night’s epic WSL clash with Arsenal.
Russo, who was sidelined with injury earlier in the season, scored in stoppage time at the Emirates Stadium on a momentous night for United. It was her third of the campaign so far, having also netted in the recent defeat against Chelsea, and walked away with Barclays Player of the Match.
It underlined the importance of a player due to be out of contract come the summer.
Russo turned down the offer of a new deal shortly before Euro 2022, a tournament which then made her a household name across the country, and United have already exercised the one-year extension option in a contract that was originally scheduled to expire a few months ago.
The 23-year-old remains happy at United, the team she grew up supporting, stating just last month that she still sees herself ‘developing’ at the club. She also said within days of the Euro 2022 final that she was ‘really looking forward’ to the new club season with United.
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Asked pitchside at the Emirates where her head is regarding her future, Russo has now told Sky Sports: “I'm just enjoying my football, I'm loving playing right now. Results like tonight are really special...and in front of these incredible fans. We'll see what happens.”
United boss Marc Skinner has unsurprisingly stated that the club, which has recently secured a contract extension with fellow star player Ella Toone – also one of Russo’s closest friends, is continuing to work hard behind the scenes.
“Alessia is absolutely happy with what she’s doing. If we weren’t happy with Alessia, she wouldn’t be considered for teams or playing. She’s a great person who is really, really professional, a great player and someone we want to look at,” Skinner said at the end of October.
“What people probably don’t realise is negotiations just take a little bit of time. It’s not as easy as waving a magic wand. But I know the interest of us is to keep Alessia at this club and I can make sure that the fans know we’re definitely not a selling club.”
United have a number of players out of contract in 2023, including Ona Batlle, Mary Earps and Millie Turner – the latter also scored at the Emirates on Saturday. The club still holds a 12-month option to extend Earps’ current deal until 2024, but Turner and Batlle are already in their option year.