Manchester United midfielder Ella Toone has vowed not to speak with former teammate Alessia Russo ahead of the game against Arsenal.
The striker made the controversial move to the Gunners in the summer, and Toone says she has decided that she will blank Russo in the build-up to the match on Friday evening:
“I basically just told her [Russo] ‘I will not speak to you before the game’. I’m not your mate for 90 minutes, and then afterwards, I’ll be your best mate again.”
As Toone says, the two are good friends off the pitch so her remarks should be taken as simple banter, rather than anything more serious.
Even so, Russo’s return to Old Trafford later this week will be the main talking point ahead of the fixture.
United will be keen to show they are genuine title contenders
After finishing runners-up last season, Marc Skinner’s team have had to deal with the loss of both Russo and Ona Batlle, who left to join Barcelona.
There has also been constant speculation about the future of goalkeeper Mary Earps, who has been tipped to join Russo at the Gunners.
However, United made some shrewd additions to the squad and got their season off to a good start by beating Aston Villa on the opening day. They will be keen to show that last campaign wasn’t a one-off and they can contend for the title once more.
Their opponents are licking their wounds after a shock defeat
Arsenal’s surprise loss to Liverpool at home at the weekend adds an extra dimension to the game on Friday too.
If United win, they could be 6 points ahead of their rivals after just 2 matches; something that Russo wouldn’t have anticipated after deciding to leave Old Trafford for the Emirates.