Bristol City are closing in on a deal to sign Liverpool and Northern Ireland midfielder Rachel Furness, who is available on a free transfer.
Liverpool confirmed on Friday morning that Furness would be leaving the Reds with her contract cancelled by mutual consent. She has left the Merseyside outfit to ‘pursue an opportunity elsewhere’ which is believed to be to the Vixens. Furness could be unveiled as a player at Bristol City later today.
Tom Garry, Women’s football journalist for the Telegraph, broke the news on Thursday, that Furness should be unveiled as the newest player of Lauren Smith’s side. He tweeted: "If you thought transfer season was over... @TeleFootball understands Northern Ireland's Rachel Furness is set to be unveiled as a Bristol City player before the weekend, leaving Liverpool. Good bit of business from the #BarclaysWC club. Watch this space…”
The 34-year-old was a promotion rival of Bristol City last year with Matt Beard's side winning the FA Women's Championship, having been challenged by Bristol City after their relegation from the WSL last season. She had the role of vice-captain and played in front of a record crowd of 5,752 at Ashton Gate.
She spent three seasons as a player at Liverpool after joining from Reading, making 64 appearances in total and scoring 19 goals, making her the third highest goal-scorer in the Women's Super League era. Furness has international pedigree, captaining her side to qualification to EURO 2020, as well as becoming their all-time record goalscorer - male or female.
“It’s always tough when you lose senior players. She’s a fantastic person and has been a great servant for the football club and we’re going to miss her,” said Liverpool coach Matt Beard about Furness’ departure.
“There were a lot of clubs who were interested. There was a role here for her, but at the end of the day the opportunity arose for her to probably get regular football and I think she went down the path that was best for her.”
As a result of winning their FA Cup tie against Oxford United, the Vixens have drawn Manchester City at home in what could be a double-header at Ashton Gate. Bristol City resume their league campaign on Sunday when they travel to Bamber Bridge to face Blackburn Rovers in the FA Women's Championship. They are a point beind league leaders London City Lionesses and have played a game less than the current pacesetters.