Chelsea make surprise bid for Arsenal star Katie McCabe

Arsenal's Katie McCabe in action with Aston Villa's Jordan Nobbs - Action Images/Matthew Childs
Arsenal's Katie McCabe in action with Aston Villa's Jordan Nobbs - Action Images/Matthew Childs

Chelsea are trying to sign Arsenal star Katie McCabe before the end of the January transfer window, Telegraph Sport understands.

Arsenal have rejected what multiple sources have described as a "substantial" offer for the 27-year-old Republic of Ireland international, but Women's Super League champions Chelsea are understood to still be hopeful of negotiating a deal before the January 31 deadline. Arsenal are understood to have no desire to sell McCabe.

McCabe, who has been with Arsenal for eight years, can play as a wide forward or as a full-back and has proven herself to be deadly from long range. She was named as Arsenal's Player of the Year last season and losing her would be a blow. It would also be something of a surprise to Arsenal fans, especially given the relative rarity of these two WSL title rivals signing a key player directly from each other.

A title winner with the north Londoners in 2019, McCabe is believed to be open to discussing the possibility of a move to Chelsea, which would, if it could be agreed, represent a major moment in this hugely competitive WSL season.

She was also named as the Republic of Ireland's Player of the Year in 2022, a year in which they qualified for their first senior major international women's tournament. They will be in Group B at this summer's Women's World Cup, along with Canada, Nigeria and co-hosts Australia. Before then, Arsenal and Chelsea are both involved in the knockout stages of the Champions League, which begin in March, as well as the WSL title race.

Chelsea are also set to sign Belgium goalkeeper Nicky Evrard this summer, with a pre-contract agreement now believed to be done in principle with regards to a three-year deal starting from July.

The 27-year-old impressed at last year's Euros, helping Belgium reach the quarter-finals, and she had also been widely linked with a move to German club Wolfsburg but it is understood she has now chosen Emma Hayes's team.