WSL transfer notebook: Manchester United's Fran Bentley poised to sign for Bristol City

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Fran Bentley - GETTY IMAGES
Fran Bentley - GETTY IMAGES

Manchester United goalkeeper Fran Bentley is poised to sign for Women's Championship outfit Bristol City on a two-year contract, Telegraph Sport can reveal.

The 20-year-old England Under-23 international shot-stopper spent last season on loan with Bristol City and has chosen to return on a permanent transfer to continue playing first-team football, after also attracting interest from Women's Super League sides Brighton and West Ham.

An agreement is said to be very close, and Manchester United are understood to be negotiating a significant sell-on fee as part of the transfer once the move is finalised.

Bentley proved a popular loan acquisition at Bristol City last season and received the club's Young Player of the Season award at the end of the campaign, having kept 10 clean sheets across the season.

Arsenal's Patten keen on another year at Villa

Aston Villa are close to finalising a deal to re-sign Arsenal defender Anna Patten on a season-long loan, Telegraph Sport understands.

The 23-year-old spent the latter half of the 2021-22 campaign on loan with Villa after arriving in January, and impressed in seven starts in the Women's Super League before illness saw her miss the conclusion of the WSL season.

Another loan move is said to suit all parties, with Villa believed to be very happy with her performances in her first spell, Arsenal keen for her to continue her development without leaving the club permanently, and Patten delighted with the prospect of playing more first-team matches every week.

Anna Patten portrait - David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
Anna Patten portrait - David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Her return will be a boost for the West Midlands side's back-line, particularly following the retirement of their former Team GB and England centre-half Anita Asante in recent weeks.

Patten has long been seen as one of Arsenal's most promising youth products, initially coming through the north Londoners' academy ranks from the age of 12 and breaking into their first team as a teenager in 2017, before spending four years studying and playing in the United States.

She rejoined Arsenal in 2021 and has played in 11 league matches for them since. An England youth international, she has also received call-ups to the senior national squad but without yet getting her debut cap for the Lionesses. She is adept at playing at full-back, as well as her more natural position at centre-half.

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