Gareth Taylor has admitted that Manchester City’s sale of Keira Walsh to Barcelona did catch the club ‘on the back foot’, but explained they allowed her to move on once her valuation was met to prevent any unrest.
Walsh was the subject of a number of rebuffed Barcelona bids during the transfer window, before Manchester City eventually agreed to sell to the Spanish champions for a world record transfer fee – believed to be in excess of £400,000.
The central midfielder completed her move the day before the transfer window closed, bringing an end to her eight years with City. Her contract had been due to expire in the summer of 2023.
“It came quite late in the window, I think that’s down to Barcelona, that’s kind of nothing to do with us,” Taylor explained. “I always believe that you want players who want to be here. Keira had given eight years, eight solid years of service and probably her last season developed into one of the best seasons she had at the club, and on the international stage.
“I think when you have that and another project comes along, it’s a real opportunity for her, the last thing you want is a player who’s going to stay because we’ve made the decision that we’re not going to take a world record fee and being really disgruntled. I don’t think anyone really gains from that.
“We tried to support Keira as best we possibly could while trying not to kill ourselves. I think some of the earlier bids were of that kind where we’re like: we’re not comfortable with that. Towards the end there was really aggressive bidding from them and the more it seemed like that was going to be the situation so the last thing we wanted was a disgruntled player.”
Walsh is one of eight players to have departed City during the transfer window – a number of them regular starters – while seven high profile additions have been made in a summer of high turnover at the Academy Stadium.
Taylor admitted that it was just the departure of Walsh and the retirement of Ellen White that caught the club ‘on the back foot’ recruitment-wise.
“I’d ask them [the supporters] to be patient because I think we’ve really invested in the future with these players,” Taylor added. “I think there was naturally going to be a fair size turnover at some point when you look at the nature of the group that left.
“They’d given really good service, three of them have retired so with that we had to be on the front foot with our recruitment, and we were. The ones that probably just took us a little bit on the back foot were probably Ellen and Keira.
“But Keira’s given eight years of service. It’s worth looking at why these players are being picked up from us; it’s because they’re in a good place and developed really well. Keira had given really good service, she wanted to go on and take this challenge, and we received a record fee for her, so it shows that we’re doing something right here at the club, as much as it is disappointing to lose a player like that because she’s a quality player. “
Chelsea drops Fofana update after initial tests on knee injury
Wesley Fofana’s knee injury is better than initially feared after the first set of tests returned positive results.
The defender suffered a knee injury in a collision with Rafael Leao in the 38th minute of Chelsea’s 3-0 home win against AC Milan, as his night ended in frustrating fashion having scored his first goal for the club earlier in the match.
There is hope that Fofana could return before the World Cup, with Chelsea’s final match before the tournament taking place away to Newcastle on November 12.
The centre-back is likely to miss this weekend’s clash against Wolves and the away match at San Siro against Milan next week.
Fofana was seen leaving Stamford Bridge on crutches on Wednesday night, with his right knee in a brace as there were worries he may have suffered a serious injury.
Speaking in his post-match press conference after Chelsea’s victory over Milan, Blues boss Graham Potter admitted he was unsure how bad it would prove to be for Fofana.
‘We’ll have to scan it tomorrow and see how he is but there’s nothing to report at the moment,” Potter said.
“That’s the one disappointing thing about the evening so we have our fingers crossed. We’re concerned but I don’t want to speculate on it now.
“These things happen. He’s a young guy and a strong guy but we’ll support him.”
Erik ten Hag explains decision to substitute Jadon Sancho in Omonia victory
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has confessed that he was unimpressed with the left side of his team in the first half of Thursday’s 3-2 victory over Omonia Nicosia, leading to him substituting both Jadon Sancho and Tyrell Malacia at half-time.
United were woeful in the first half and trailed at the break after Sancho and Malacia conspired to give away the ball for the cheapest of counter-attack goals, and both were hooked at the interval.
Sancho was replaced by Marcus Rashford, who went on to bag a goal and an assist, while fellow substitute Anthony Martial also scored just moments after being introduced on the hour mark.
Asked to explain his logic behind removing Sancho while his team were losing, Ten Hag said: “It [the goal] was not what I wasn’t happy with, it was the movement with our ball.
“The width on the left side, for me, was no good first-half – the movement from behind the defending line.
“So I hoped with Luke [Shaw] and Marcus we get more effect from that and so in my opinion that happens.”
Asked what he told Rashford and the rest of the team at the break to inspire a comeback, Ten Hag told BT Sport: “More runs, we are too static, we have to make the opposition move to get behind – that is why we made two subs.
“The subs really had an impact today.”
The boss added: “I would call it stay composed. It can always happen, football is a game of mistakes. I agree with you, first 30 or 35 minutes, we played quite well, the only thing we didn’t do was score a goal.
“When you score a goal you make your life easy, we didn’t. Then we concede a goal and it was the worst 10 minutes from the game from us. After half-time, we dealt well with the setback.”
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