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Alessia Russo hopes to get her club future sorted before England depart for the Women’s World Cup and said the speculation over her next club has been “tough.”

Russo’s departure from Manchester United was announced on June 16, and sources have told ESPN that Arsenal are leading the race to sign the England striker. The move is close to being agreed ahead of the England squad leaving for Australia on July 5.

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When asked on Tuesday if it is important to get her next move sorted before the start of the World Cup, Russo said: “Yeah, it’s the state of football. You’ve got to get things sorted. There’s no nice time to sort things like that out but now I’m here [in England camp] it’s nice to have a full focus on a massive tournament coming up.”

Arsenal pursued a deal Russo in January with a record offer for her but she decided to stay at Manchester United through to the end of the season. She has attracted attention from the NWSL and from French giants Lyon, but it looks like Arsenal have won the race for her signature.

Russo said the speculation over her future has been draining.

“Towards the end of the season it was tough and the summer has been tough,” Russo added. “You don’t like things in the media about you but that’s football and that’s the state of the women’s game.

“I just turned it off, took a break on holiday and completely switched off with all my friends and family. Coming back into an environment like this [at England camp] is perfect because you’re competing and all your focus is on England.”

Russo will be one of England’s key players in Australia as they seek to back up their Euro 2022 triumph with further silverware. With Ellen White retired, Russo will be battling alongside Beth England and Rachel Daly for the starting striker spot.

However, regardless of whether she starts or is in an impact sub role, Russo said she will be ignoring the outside noise.

“The outside put more pressure on us as a team and a group of staff than we do,” Russo said. “Obviously lots of pressure on during the Euros but that’s the state of English football.

“Every team going into a tournament will say they have felt pressure going into it from the outside not the inside. There’s always a target on England’s back in football. We feel really good. It will be a completely different tournament. The Euros is behind us now and it was an incredible summer. We saw what we can do and now it’s time for us to come together on the world stage.”

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Russo wants club future sorted before Women’s World Cup