Abbie McManus leaves Manchester City for WSL newcomers Manchester United

Suzanne Wrack

The England defender Abbie McManus ( right) has swapped Manchester City for Manchester United, becoming the second player to join the promoted side, following the recruitment of Jackie Groenen.

McManus signed for City in 2009 and was the last remaining player from the club’s pre-professional era (2014). She is the third to have made the switch from blue to red in Manchester.

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Two City youth players, the striker Ella Toone and goalkeeper Fran Bentley, dropped into the Championship last year to join United, though both had spent time in the Manchester United Foundation before joining City.

United released four players – Charlie Devlin, Naomi Hartley, Lucy Roberts and Ebony Salmon – on 15 May, after their manager, Casey Stoney, warned they would need to strengthen on the back of securing promotion to the Women’s Super League.

The 26-year-old McManus made more than 100 appearances for City and won a Women’s Super League title, two FA Cups and two Continental League Cups.

She made her England debut in Phil Neville’s first game in February 2018, filling in for an injured Steph Houghton, and was part of the squad that won the SheBelieves Cup this March. McManus is in Neville’s squad for the World Cup this summer alongside the Manchester United defender Alex Greenwood.