Leicester City are set to sign England and Manchester United’s Abbie McManus


Newly-promoted Leicester City are set to sign England and Manchester United’s Abbie McManus, Telegraph Sport can reveal.

As the Women’s Super League transfer window roars into life this week – with dozens of players’ contracts ending on June 30 – ambitious Leicester will be making some of the biggest moves.

The Championship winning side are also adding United’s Jess Sigsworth, as well as Bristol City’s left-back Jemma Purfield from July 1 – experienced names to bolster their debut WSL campaign. Both England defender McManus, 28, and hard-working former Doncaster Rovers Belles forward Sigsworth, who has been with Manchester United since they reformed a senior women’s side in 2018, see their contracts at United expire this week.

In 24-year-old Purfield, Leicester will also snap up one of the division’s exciting young talents. The ex-England youth international can also play on the wing, as well as at wing-back and full-back, and impressed in Bristol City’s run to last season’s League Cup final despite their relegation.

Jonathan Morgan’s side are also believed to be interested in 20-year-old Everton midfielder Molly Pike, and they are expected to make further signings as they prepare for life in the top tier. Representatives of players across the WSL have said their clients have been impressed by Leicester’s move last term to host their women’s team exclusively at their Belvoir Drive training ground, where their men’s team were based when they won the Premier League title.

They will certainly not be the only team making moves in the coming days. It is understood West Ham United are set to complete the signing of striker Claudia Walker from Birmingham City, having fought off at least two other WSL clubs to secure her signature.

Previously of Liverpool and Everton, 25-year-old Walker was one of Birmingham’s top performers last term and scored five times in 21 league appearances.

The West Midlands side, who are searching for a new manager after Carla Ward stepped down and joined Aston Villa in May, will also be saying farewell to other first-team stars, including goalkeeper Hannah Hampton. The 20-year-old received her first senior England call-up in February and said goodbye and thank you to Birmingham in a post on social media at the weekend.

With Hampton widely seen as one of the best young goalkeepers around, several clubs have made approaches, one of whom are believed to be Birmingham’s local rivals Villa.

However, Birmingham are understood to be close to adding young Manchester United goalkeeper Emily Ramsey as a replacement for next season.

Elsewhere, Switzerland winger Alisha Lehmann is poised to leave West Ham United, after her loan spell at Everton came to an end. The 22-year-old is said to be considering a number of options and wants more regular first-team football.

Everton, meanwhile, are set to confirm the signings of a quartet of international stars, as revealed by Telegraph Sport earlier this month, with Juventus’ Aurora Galli, Germany defender Leonie Maier, France winger Kenza Dali and Sweden striker Anna Anvegard all poised to move to Merseyside and it’s said their summer business will not end there.