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How Signe Bruun became a Manchester United player

by Zoe Hodges

Manchester United Women had a busy deadline day as they signed three players in the dying moments of the transfer window.

Ireland’s Diane Caldwell and England’s Jade Moore joined the club earlier in the day but Denmark’s Signe Bruun was a last minute deal that very nearly didn’t happen!

Two days before the WSL transfer window closed, Bruun was sitting watching Basketball with her Lyon team-mates. There had been interest in the young forward but Bruun was happy to stay in France.

That night her agent called and the pair jumped on a zoom call with United boss, Marc Skinner and assistant, Martin Ho.

The Telegraph reports that her agent, Alan Naigeon, who also looks after Sam Kerr and Ada Hegerberg, said of the call, “I knew that, deep down, one day Signe wanted to experience playing in England. We had a really good conversation with United and we agreed Signe was going to sleep on it.”

“Marc and Martin were really honest about the fact that if they knew she was on the market, they would have been discussing a transfer a long time ago.”

“They made it clear that they were having a call at 11pm because they wanted her to be their number nine.”

The next day, after a series of phone calls, the 23 year old had made her mind up that she wanted to play for United.

By 11pm on the Wednesday, less than 24 hours until the transfer window closed, Lyon had given permission for Bruun to travel to Manchester to discuss terms.

Unlike what happens in the men’s game, though, Bruun could not just jump on a private jet, she had to wait until the following morning to jump on a commercial flight.

At 5am on deadline day, 12 hours before the paperwork needed to be submitted, Bruun was packed and ready to go. She caught a flight at 7.05am to Brussels, sprinted through the terminal and caught a connecting flight the Manchester.

As she arrived at Manchester though, in the rush, Bruun didn’t have the right customs paperwork to hand. With the clock ticking, one of the rising stars of the women’s game found herself being asked to wait by border control.

The club and her agency managed to sort out the forms and get her to her medical, but with her phone out of power she missed calls saying the paperwork was ready for her to sign.

“For the women’s game, it was quite a hefty deal, not the standard WSL value, so there was a lot of back-and-forth,” Naigeon said.

“The clubs were great, they needed to get some of the documents into the FA by 5pm and eventually the last paperwork was submitted with 11 minutes to go. The deal was all done in around 44 hours from start to finish.”

It’s something that isn’t uncommon in the men’s game but is unheard of in the women’s format.

Her permit arrived just hours before United’s semi-final clash against Chelsea and Bruun made her debut for the Reds, as a second half sub.

As she settles in, her agent is turning his attention to getting her car to her – it remains parked outside of her apartment in Lyon!

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