GK Earps to leave Man United; PSG move likely

England goalkeeper Mary Earps will leave Manchester United following the expiry of her contract, the club confirmed on Saturday.

Earps said in a statement posted to social media that the club are “going in a different direction” and that it does not align with her career at this time.

Despite negotiations over a new contract spanning over a year, sources have told ESPN that Earps is likely to make a move to French side Paris Saint-Germain, bringing an end to her five-year spell at United.

Sources have told ESPN that United believe they made the goalkeeper a firm offer, but the desire to win silverware and compete in the Champions League was more attractive to the Earps.

Earps said: “Dear the United family, after 5 years of service to your great club, I have decided that it’s time for a new challenge. It’s a decision I’ve gone backwards and forwards on for some time, and is not one I’ve made lightly.

“The club is about to undergo a period of transition, and unfortunately I don’t feel it aligns with the timing of where I’m at in my career, therefore I think now is the right time to make a change and embark on a new challenge.”

Earps joined United from Wolfsburg in 2019 at the beginning of their Women’s Super League (WSL) journey after they won promotion to the WSL. She debuted for the side in the inaugural Manchester Derby, a 1-0 loss for United. In 2021, she signed a new deal to remain with the club until 2023 with an option for an extra year, which the club took up last term.

Earps was integral for the side during the 2022-23 season. She kept a league record 14 clean sheets in the WSL and was vital in securing United’s second-place finish — the highest in the club’s history — and qualifying for the Champions League for the first time.

In the FA Cup final in May, Earps kept a clean sheet and United won the title with a 4-0 win over Tottenham. She has made over 100 appearances for Marc Skinner’s side..

In October 2023, Earps came fifth in the Ballon d’Or, the highest a goalkeeper has placed since the female award was introduced in 2018.

Arsenal made an approach for the goalkeeper last summer and were prepared to make a world record offer for the 31-year-old. However, United declined, and the north London club cooled their interest by the January transfer window.

She is one of four major players set to leave the club this window, all on free transfers. The club already announced Lucía García and captain Katie Zelem’s exits, and Nikita Parris is expected to depart as well.

“There aren’t the right words, or enough words, to express my heartfelt gratitude to you all, but I hope the below comes somewhere close…. Although this United chapter has sadly come to a close, I take with me a heart full of incredible memories,” Earps added.

“Thank you for welcoming me as one of your own and letting me be a part of your club. I wish you all the very best for the future and I hope I can continue to make you proud in my next chapter.”

While the deal has not yet been completed, sources have told ESPN that Earps is expected to sign for PSG. The club have an available non-EU player quota space following Tabitha Chawinga’s departure upon the conclusion of her loan spell.

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