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Man City title challenge can persuade Hemp to pass on Barca chance
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Dan Fitch
LiveScore
Lauren Hemp has won 51 caps for England
Lauren Hemp has won 51 caps for England

England ace Lauren Hemp has a big decision to make.

The Manchester City forward has been heavily linked with Catalan giants and defending European champions Barcelona.

Ahead of the Lionesses' friendly with Austria this evening, we assess the 23-year-old's future.

Winging it

Hemp's contract is set to expire in the summer although City are said to have offered her a fresh deal.

Barca are attempting to tempt the Norfolk-born winger away, with reports claiming she is close to agreeing to a move.

Former City and England star Izzy Christiansen is not surprised Hemp is in demand, having scored six goals in 13 Women's Super League appearances this term.

She said: "You're looking at one of the best wingers in the world at the moment and Barcelona are the best team in Europe at the moment.

"If you're looking at Lauren Hemp, you've got a player who's consistently performed at a high, high level.

"What happens with her, I don't know but you've got a player who needs to always be playing at the top and I think from Man City's perspective, I think they're turning a corner.

"I think they're getting closer again to Chelsea and it's probably a tough decision if you're inside Lauren Hemp's head at the moment."

Lauren Hemp is wanted by Barcelona
Lauren Hemp is wanted by Barcelona

City planning

Christiansen has experienced the same dilemma herself, having left City for Lyon in 2018.

The 2019 Women's Champions League winner gave her insight into the decision-making process Hemp faces.

Christiansen, 32, added: "You've got a European giant coming for you.

"It's a difficult situation to be in but there are a lot of factors involved now and the game moves so quickly that being settled is a massive part of your performance on the pitch.

"I think that's going to be tough for [Hemp] to leave City now. I think City are really turning the screw and they've got some really exciting plans for the future."

City's chances of keeping hold of Hemp may be helped by the fact that she is still so young, with there being plenty of time for a move abroad.

The forward signed for the Citizens in 2018, winning the Women's FA Cup in her first season.

Hemp has since added the Women's League Cup to her list of personal honours, which of course includes England's Euro 2022 triumph.

Yet the WSL title and continental glory have so far eluded her grasp.

Treble contenders

Lauren Hemp and her Manchester City team-mates could win a domestic treble
Lauren Hemp and her Manchester City team-mates could win a domestic treble

Hemp has the chance to radically boost her medal collection this season.

Having won 1-0 at Chelsea last weekend, Gareth Taylor's side are now level on points with the reigning WSL champions.

They are also through to the semi-finals of the League Cup and the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

If her team can win the WSL, or even land a treble, it will present a compelling argument to persuade Hemp to stay.

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