Man Utd target Lisa Naalsund admits concern over competition for places

Jamie Spencer
Lisa Naaslund has been linked with a move to Manchester United
Lisa Naaslund has been linked with a move to Manchester United / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Manchester United target Lisa Naalsund has admitted a degree of hesitancy over a proposed January transfer to the WSL that is otherwise believed to be agreed between the clubs.

Naalsund has emerged as a mid-season option to strengthen the United squad, with Lucy Staniforth already allowed to join Aston Villa on a free transfer in recent days.

The 27-year-old, who only missed out on a place in Norway’s Euro 2022 squad because of injury, has spoken to TV2 in her homeland as she prepares to make a potentially huge decision.

Naalsund has spent her whole career to date in Norway and has explained that a transfer abroad and the new challenges it brings is something she has ‘always dreamed of’. However, at the same time she has insisted that the ‘timing has to be right’.

That could be especially pertinent now with a World Cup only six months away.

Naalsund revealed any lingering doubt stems from the level of the competition for places she would expect to face in Manchester – that stiff competition has already seen international teammate Vilde Boe Risa struggle to get regular minutes this season, despite Jackie Groenen leaving in September without a direct replacement coming in at the time.

Norway coach Hege Riise has previously warned Boe Risa that her international career could suffer without consistent playing time at club level. Naalsund risks being in the same boat if she makes the move this month and cannot establish herself relatively quickly.

“There is quite tough competition in that club, so if you get there you can risk sitting on the bench for six months. Then you won't be match-ready for the World Cup,” Naalsund said.

She also confirmed to TV2 that, from her personal perspective, the uncertainty over playing time is the only thing standing in the way of a United transfer being fully agreed by all parties.

The offer from United previously reported in Norway is thought be the equivalent of £165,000.

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