Home ยป Marc Skinner dismisses concerns over Russo and Batlle ahead of FA Cup semi-final

Marc Skinner dismisses concerns over Russo and Batlle ahead of FA Cup semi-final

by Zoe Hodges

Marc Skinner has brushed aside concerns from the press about the futures of two of his star players.

Alessia Russo and Ona Batlle are both out of contract at the end of the season and could leave on a free transfer.

Russo rejected a new contract last summer, and interest has been expressed by Lyon, Chelsea and Arsenal, the latter of which saw two world-record bids rejected in January.

It is said talks are ongoing between United and the two players who are integral to Skinner’s first team, but speculation about their futures continues to grow.

Earlier this week, Ella Toone said, “As a friend, I will always be proud of what she does and goes on to achieve,” when speaking of Russo’s future.

Now Marc Skinner has discussed the need to put aside those talks and focus on the task at hand.

“I wouldn’t say (the contract situations of Russo and Batlle) goes to the level of concern because, as a collective, we’re in a critical moment of the season in which these players will play a massive part in,” he told Sky.

“There’s a lot of love from those players towards the club and obviously from the club towards those players. We’re hopeful and working hard behind the scenes.”

He continued, “What I’ve stayed very clear on – and why they’re still performing like they are – is it’s about the team. My job is to put myself aside and work for this team; the player’s job is to put themselves aside and work for the team.”

“That looks like trying to progress to an FA Cup final. We’ve already gone one stage further than we ever have, so now we have to put all our energy into doing that, and then we’ve got really important games to not only finish potentially in the Champions League but try to challenge for the league.”

Skinner’s side will take on Brighton in the FA Cup semi-final at Leigh Sports Village on the weekend.

Then, the league leaders will host Arsenal mid-week in the WSL. It’s congested at the top of the table, but the Reds still hope to qualify for the Champions League next season.

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