WSL transfers: How deadline day unfolded

Ali Rampling
It was a busy 24 hours across the WSL
It was a busy 24 hours across the WSL / Quality Sport Images & Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos - Getty Images

The WSL January transfer window came to a close on Thursday evening, ending a month of activity where nine of the 12 sides in the English top flight dipped into the market to strengthen their squad ahead of the second half of the season.

With the majority of teams getting their business wrapped up earlier in the window, transfer deadline day could have been a uneventful affair.

And then all hell broke loose in Manchester...

The initial rumour mill (9:00 GMT)

As we awoke on the morning of deadline day, the first rumours began to trickle through.

Manchester City were expected to get the signing of highly-rated Norwegian Julie Blakstad over the line - a move that had been ticking towards conclusion for a couple of days.

Manchester United were thought to be in the market for a centre-back - an essential area to strengthen for the Red Devils after influential defender Millie Turner was ruled out for an indefinite period of time due to an issue with a neck artery, while a new striker was also on Marc Skinner's wish list.

Aston Villa were rumoured to be looking to add another centre-back to their squad, with terms said to be agreed with an unnamed international defender.

Arsenal had already brought in two defenders in January, potentially paving the way for Viktoria Schnaderbeck to join rivals Tottenham.

The rumours hot up (14:30 GMT)

The international centre-back that Villa are closing in on is revealed to be... Scotland captain Rachel Corsie from Kansas City Current - a move that would see the defender join up with boss Carla Ward once more.

Player-coach reunions were becoming all the rage. United had spent the entire window being linked with central defenders and strikers - and then the Red Devils were suddenly on the cusp of signing defensive midfielder Jade Moore, a player who had previously played for Skinner at both Orlando Pride and Birmingham.

Still no actual confirmed transfers yet, but it's all very exciting isn't it?

Manchester City sign Julie Blakstad (16:00 GMT)

The first deal of deadline day was finally announced at 4:00pm, and it saw Manchester City unveil 20-year-old midfielder Julie Blakstad.

The Norwegian international joined Gareth Taylor's side from Rosenborg on a two-and-a-half year deal.

Manchester United sign Diane Caldwell (17:00 GMT)

A done deal for the Red Devils! United announced the centre back signing that the fans had been craving, bagging Republic of Ireland international Diane Caldwell.

The 33-year-old joined the Red Devils on a free transfer on a short-term contract until the end of the season.

Aston Villa sign Rachel Corsie (18:00 GMT)

Deadline day signing number three was over the line, with Aston Villa securing the signature of their second experienced international in the space of three days following the arrival of Lioness Jill Scott.

Corsie joined from Kansas City Current and put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Midlands side.

Tottenham sign Victoria Schnaderbeck (18:00 GMT)

You wait all day for the announcement of a centre-back signing and then three come along in the space of an hour...

Just as Emma Mitchell did in January 2020, Schnaderbeck crossed the north London divide, switching Spurs for Arsenal in a loan move until the end of the season.

Manchester United sign Jade Moore (19:00 GMT)

United had their second deal of the day secured, bringing in a player of real international pedigree and WSL experience in the shape of Jade Moore.

The midfielder signed a one-and-a-half year deal with the Red Devils, and was surely a fitting conclusion to transfer deadline day.

Manchester United sign Signe Bruun (20:30 GMT)

Not another one.

Manchester United signed off the transfer window in style, getting a deal for Danish international Signe Bruun over the line before the window closed.

The 23-year-old joined on loan from European giants Lyon until the end of the season. The Red Devils finally had the striker they were after, concluding a hectic few hours in Manchester.