October 17, 2021

Man Utd ‘zombie’ keeper hints at summer move as Grant mulls over options

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The veteran shot-stopper is third-choice in the pecking order at Old Trafford but believes he is capable of playing again before retiring

Lee Grant admits to feeling like a “zombie” at times as third-choice goalkeeper at Manchester United, with the 38-year-old mulling over a summer move as he works his “balls off” to prove that he can prolong a lengthy playing career.

The veteran shot-stopper has been at Old Trafford since 2018, but has taken in just two competitive appearances after finding himself stuck behind the likes of David de Gea, Sergio Romero and Dean Henderson.

Having previously been a regular for Sheffield Wednesday, Burnley and Derby, Grant is weighing up whether or not to have one more shot at being first-choice somewhere before the day comes to hang up his gloves.

He has told The Sun: “It doesn’t matter how long into your career you are, you still find that frustration on a Saturday when you’re not playing.

“I know I’m at Manchester United, you’ve got some of the best goalkeepers in the world in front of you but you still have that personal pride and professionalism. You want to play. In one respect being a No. 3 here is ideal.

“Then in another respect, if you speak to my wife, she’ll say: ‘I need to get him playing because he comes home and from one minute to the next, I don’t know what I’m dealing with’.

“I’m walking in like a zombie moaning that I’m still good enough to play and I’m training my balls off, working at a hard level. I then want that reward at the end, which is the weekend’s game. And that’s the bit you miss.

“Sometimes she’ll say: ‘Just go and play then if it’s doing your head in that much’. And then I’ll go: ‘Well, what’s the big picture again?’.”

He added: “I’m looking at what next year looks like for me. An ideal scenario would be that United are loving what they are getting from me and let’s look at another year. But I’ve got to look at it from my own perspective.

“Do I want to spend whatever time is left of my career, doing what I’m doing? Or do I want to go and have one last hurrah somewhere, a little swan song?”

Grant will remain a back-up option for as long as he is on United’s books, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer already facing the headache of how to keep De Gea and Henderson happy.

“I think the manager’s handled that situation wonderfully well because, actually, at the start of the season there were big question marks on how that was going to work and the dynamics within the group. He’s managed to keep two very good goalkeepers happy,” Grant said.

“There are lots of ifs, buts and maybes to happen between now and the end of the season with other goalkeepers and their situations. Currently you’ve got David, Deano and myself as the three senior keepers. And then we’ve got a young lad, Nathan Bishop, who is a wonderful young talent.

“There’s lots of water to go under the bridge with Sergio Romero and his situation, the young keepers and whether they will be going out on loan for experience — which would then maybe mean that there are still opportunities here for me, so I don’t know.

“Part of the reason I came here was that I get a chance and the opportunity to be around top players, World Cup winners, Champions League winners, Premier League winners, and be in that elite environment.

“I want to coach and I want to manage, you see. So being at Manchester United gives me a wonderful platform to go on and do that stuff.”