Man Utd transition did not fit my career - Earps

Mary Earps playing for Manchester United
Mary Earps won the Women's FA Cup with Manchester United last season [Getty Images]

England goalkeeper Mary Earps says Manchester United are preparing to "undergo a period of transition" that "did not align" with where she is in her career.

The 31-year-old is expected to join Paris St-Germain after United announced her exit on a free transfer following the expiry of her contract.

United offered Earps a new deal but after much deliberation she rejected it.

"The club is about to undergo a period of transition, and unfortunately I don’t feel it aligns with the timing of where I’m at in my career," Earps posted on Instagram.

"I think now is the right time to make a change and embark on a new challenge."

The keeper said she went "backwards and forwards" over the decision, which was "not one I’ve made lightly".

Earps joins a number of high-profile players leaving United on free transfers in recent years, following striker Alessia Russo's move to Arsenal and Ona Batlle's departure to Barcelona.

This week, United confirmed captain Katie Zelem left the club after not being offered a new contract, while Spain forward Lucia Garcia joined Mexican side Monterrey.

After finishing fifth in the WSL last season, 20 points behind champions Chelsea, United accept they are not in a position to challenge for the league title or the Champions League.

The women's team, founded in 2018, moved into a new £10m training facility in 2023, but the club plans to overhaul their Carrington training base which will cause disruption to all teams at the site.

'Latest blow to United' - analysis

Speculation regarding Earps' future has gone on for more than a year and she will be relieved to have the matter settled having previously said some reports had been an "injustice".

Arsenal offered United a world record fee for a goalkeeper last season in an attempt to persuade Earps to move to London, but she will be guaranteed Champions League football at Paris St-Germain.

United's contract extension offer matched her expectations and was more attractive than PSG's deal - so Earps' decision was based on football reasons.

However, it is hard to ignore the current situation at United, with criticism growing following a decision to move the women's team from their Carrington training site to make space for the men's team.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe agreed to buy a 25% stake in Manchester United this year and his Ineos Group have taken control of football operations.

Earlier this month, he said Ineos' priorities lay in rebuilding the men's team and that has unsettled a number of people involved with the women's side at the club.

Losing someone of Earps' stature and personality is the latest blow for the club as United dropped down the Women's Super League (WSL) table last season from second to fifth.

They are already active in the transfer window, with Terland and Janssen poised to join, but United find themselves having to replace quality players yet again.