Manchester United Women Confirm Blockbuster Signings of Tobin Heath & Christen Press

Christen Press has joined US teammate Heath at Manchester United
Christen Press has joined US teammate Heath at Manchester United | Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Manchester United have confirmed the blockbuster signings of double World Cup winners Tobin Heath and Christen Press, subject to obtaining work permits.

Both players' arrival brings the WSL's USWNT 2019 World Cup winners count up to four, following rivals Manchester City's additions of Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle.

Tobin Heath, Christen Press
The pair are two of the finest players in world football | Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Heath was the first to join the Red Devils from Portland Thorns, while fellow forward Press' arrival from Utah Royals was confirmed a couple of hours later. Both have penned a one-year deal at the club, confirmed in announcements released to the press and on the club's official website.

32-year-old Heath said of her signing: “Manchester United is an exceptional club and I’m thrilled to be joining them. I’m looking forward to the challenge of competing in England, playing with and against some of the best players in the world.

"I have big ambitions for this season and can’t wait to get on the pitch with my new team and start this next chapter.”

Press, 31, remarked: “I’m really excited to be joining Manchester United this season. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to play for such an elite club and beyond ready to get back on the field.

“I feel blessed to have the opportunity to continue to strive to be my best and to compete for trophies this year. I look forward to this new challenge and I can’t wait to start training with the team.”

Heath is a two-time World Cup winner and a double Olympic champion
Heath is a two-time World Cup winner and a double Olympic champion | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The duo are the biggest signings in Manchester United's short history, given their international pedigree with a USA side who won consecutive World Cups in 2015 and 2019. Heath has made 168 appearances for her country, scoring 33 goals, while Press is equally as decorated - representing her country on 138 occasions, with a more impressive goal return of 58.

One person delighted by Press' arrival in particular was manager Casey Stoney, who added: “Christen is a world-class player and we are thrilled to have her on board at the club. She has a proven record and her stats speak for themselves; she’s a ruthless striker who scores so many different types of goals, and I know she can add some real quality to our squad.

“Christen is also hugely experienced and for me it’s fantastic to add another senior figure like her in the dressing room.”

United enjoyed a strong debut campaign in the WSL, finishing fourth, and began their second season by taking points off one of the 'big three' for the first time after holding reigning league champions Chelsea to a 1-1 draw.

Manager Stoney - who made her name as a solid centre half in her playing days - unsurprisingly has built a side with a very strong defensive record. Only Chelsea and Manchester City conceded fewer goals than the Red Devils during the 2019/20 campaign, but the addition of two of the greatest striker in world football will add a sprinkling of attacking spark to her well drilled side.

United are the latest WSL side to take advantage of the shortening of the 2020 NWSL season as a result of the coronavirus, with Everton, West Ham, Tottenham and Reading all bringing in players from across the pond.