Bristol City set to sign Manchester United goalkeeper as Wales star to stay put

All the latest on the incomings and outgoings to do with Bristol City’s FA Women’s Championship side

<p>Fran Bentley is set to stay at Bristol City and sign on a permanent deal. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)</p>

Fran Bentley is set to stay at Bristol City and sign on a permanent deal. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Bristol City Women’s staff and players may be on their break right now but news continues to come from the High Performance Centre

It’s been over a month since City last played a competitive match, losing 3-1 to London City Lionessses which saw them overtake them in second.

Not long after the season concluded, plans were afoot for the next season and for the last few weeks there has been speculation on who will be coming in to the club and who may be departing B3.

Here are the latest headlines from Bristol City, including news of a deal that is nearing its completion and one that has been tied up as the squad begins to be assembled of a potential title push.

Vixens set to sign goalkeeper on permanent deal

Bristol City Women are poised to sign goalkeeper Fran Bentley on a two-year deal.

A report from The Telegraph says that the 20-year-old has opted to leave Manchester United in search of regular first-team football.

Despite offers from Women’s Super League clubs Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham United, she has opted to stay put and fight in City’s Women’s Championship promotion push.

An agreement between the two clubs is near and there will be a sell-on-fee on the player once it is completed.

Bentley was at City for the course of the 2021/22 season making 21 appearances, where she kept eight clean sheets.

Pair linked with move but others interested

BBC journalist Emma Sanders earlier this month linked City with moves for two players, a midfielder and a striker.

Wales international midfielder Anna Fibley was linked with a move but Rangers and her former club Celtic are also interested.

The latest development was that league rivals Crystal Palace entered the race to sign her, as they did with Rianna Dean too.

Filbey has just come off a campaign where she played in all 22 of Charlton Athletic’s 22 fixtures, scoring one goal as she helped Charlton Athletic to a fourth-placed finish.

Aston Villa and Jamaica striker Shania Hayles was also spoken about as a potential target. She is available on a free transfer after she was named as one of the players that they wouldn’t be keeping on.

Harrison named Player of the Year

City's goalscoring sensation and record goal scorer Abi Harrison was named the FA Women's Championship Player of the Year. The Scotland international scored 17 goals in the league and she finished as the top scorer for the division.

Wales international extends her stay at HPC

Midfielder Ffion Morgan has signed a one-year extension to remain with the club. Across all competitions, she made 22 appearances and was involved in five goals, getting a brace against Lewes in March. Her form for her club earned her a recall to the Wales team and she played against France and Kazakhstan.

"I am over the moon to sign a new deal with this club, I love it here,” she said to the official club website.

“I have built a great relationship with the rest of the squad and staff, and I think that showed in my performances on the pitch last season.

"It was a fantastic experience for me to become a full-time professional this season and now I'm looking forward to getting another season under my belt and pushing on next season. "We want to compete for promotion next season and that's why I'm glad to sign a new deal at Bristol City as I believe my ambitions match those of the club."

Smith goes back to school

Lauren Smith has returned to South Wales to resume her coaching studies with the Football Association of Wales, as she bids to earn the UEFA Pro Licence.

The Welshwoman is the only female on the course and studies alongside Davide Ancelotti, son of Real Madrid boss Carlo, as well as former Cardiff City and Hull City midfielder Seyi Olofinjana.