Manchester United Women have announced their first signing for the new season with the Norway international Vilde Bøe Risa joining on a free after terminating her contract with Sandviken.
United finished fourth in the Women’s Super League season last season, one point behind Arsenal in the last Champions League place. However, the manager Casey Stoney left the club at the end of the campaign and a new replacement has yet to be found. Stoney was named the new San Diego manager on 14 July.
Bøe Risa has spent the majority of her playing career in Scandinavia with Arna-Bjørnar, Göteborg FC and Sandviken. The 26-year-old midfielder has 37 caps for her country.
“I’m happy to be here, at such a big club that I have grown up supporting,” Bøe Risa said. “Manchester United is huge in Norway so to be able to come here and play for the team now is a dream come true.
“I am really looking forward to playing in the WSL and I want to help the team as much as I can in qualifying for the Champions League. I’m also excited to get to know my new teammates, and of course, I hope I can see the fans in the stadium soon too.”
The United football director, John Murtough, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Vilde to the club, she has all the qualities required to be a Manchester United player and we know she can have a great impact here. She reads the game so well and is a fantastic playmaker with great vision and link up play.
“Vilde brings leadership skills from her time in Sweden, along with Champions League experience, which is something the club is striving for. She is just one of a number of key signings we are making this summer as we look to build on last season with the women’s team.”
Lauren James is expected to leave United and join Chelsea while Christen Press, Tobin Heath, Amy Turner, Jane Ross and Jess Sigsworth have already departed.