‘Absolutely no chance’ - Arsenal dismiss Katie McCabe speculation

Irish abroad: Louise Quinn, Jamie Finn, Harriet Scott and Lucy Quinn all in action for Birmingham in FA Cup win

While Arsenal produced the scoreline of the weekend with a 9-0 trouncing of Leeds United in the fourth round of the FA Cup, the chief line of questioning for their manager Jonas Eidevall after the game was Katie McCabe’s future at the club.

On Saturday it was reported by Sky Sports that Arsenal’s Super League rivals Chelsea had put in what was described as a “substantial” bid for the Republic of Ireland captain, but Eidevall dismissed any prospect of it being accepted, saying that there was “absolutely no chance of that move happening”.

While Sky suggested that McCabe was open to the move, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes, speaking after her team’s 3-2 FA Cup win over Liverpool, dampened speculation around her club’s efforts to sign the player, while refusing to comment directly on the Dubliner, insisting that “there will be no players coming in” during the transfer window.

The window closes at 5pm on Tuesday afternoon, so Chelsea have until then to up their bid. McCabe has 18 months left on her contract with the north London club, which she joined from Shelbourne in December 2015. She has become a key figure for the side since returning from a loan spell with Glasgow City in 2017 and was voted the club’s player of the year after an outstanding 2020-21 season.


Chelsea have the reputation of paying the highest salaries in the Women’s Super League, with their Australian striker Sam Kerr said to be the highest paid player in world football with a salary of £400,000. Whether they will try to use that financial clout to tempt Arsenal and lure McCabe before the transfer deadline remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, there were mixed fortunes for McCabe’s Republic of Ireland team-mates in the FA Cup on Sunday, Louise Quinn, Jamie Finn, Harriet Scott and Lucy Quinn helping the Championship’s Birmingham City produce one of the round’s shocks when they beat the Super League’s Everton 1-0. Jade Pennock got the winner on the hour mark, beating Courtney Brosnan who was getting a rare start in the Everton goal.

Megan Walsh kept a clean sheet for Brighton in their 7-0 trouncing of West Bromwich Albion, Megan Connolly coming on for the last half hour for the winners, while Naoisha McAloon also shut out Crystal Palace in a 3-0 win for Durham, for whom Saoirse Noonan lined out.

Emily Kraft, the former German youth international who made her senior Irish debut under Colin Bell back in 2019, got the winner for Lewes over Ipswich, while Eleanor Ryan-Doyle and Izzy Atkinson were on the winning teams for Coventry City and West Ham, respectively.

There was no joy, though, for London City’s Irish trio of Lily Agg, Hayley Nolan and Rianna Jarrett, 5-0 losers to Spurs, while Niamh Fahey, against her former club, and Megan Campbell were in the Liverpool side that were ousted by Chelsea.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times