Ireland women’s skipper Katie McCabe is the subject of a tug-of-war between England’s two powerhouse clubs ahead of Tuesday night’s transfer deadline.
Sky Sports have reported that Arsenal have rejected a significant bid from champions Chelsea for their Irish playmaker.
McCabe joined Arsenal from Raheny United in late 2015 but the Gunners have been edged out in recent years by their London rivals when it comes to silverware.
Such a move across the capital divide would be by far the highest-profile switch of the window with a transfer record fee a certainty.
Chelsea only recently sold Bethany England to Tottenham for £250,000 but this transaction – for a player with 18 months remaining on her contract – would smash that fee.
Despite the 27-year-old Dubliners figuring in all 10 of the Gunners’ Women’s Super League games this year, she was surprisingly left out of the starting line-up for last week’s crucial 1-1 draw against Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium.
The Telegraph are reporting that the player is amenable to holding discussions with Emma Hayes about joining a club she reportedly supported as a child.
Events over the next 72 hours will dictate if McCabe becomes the story of the window but she’s still got the biggest year of her career ahead by captaining Ireland in the Women’s World Cup. She has scored an impressive haul of 20 goals in her 69 appearances.
Ireland have four friendlies, starting against China on February 22 against China, to warm up for the group phase against co-hosts Australia, Canada and Nigeria between July 20-28.