After failing to keep up with Manchester City in the race to the league title last season, Jose Mourinho is now under pressure to deliver, in what will be his third season at Old Trafford. The Portuguese tactician is desperate to add some quality to his first team and has been linked with a number of exciting stars recently.
But Mourinho is also looking to add depth to his squad and one experienced player they are now close to signing is Lee Grant.
Manchester United Open Grant Talks:
With Stoke City failing to avoid relegation last season, they are expected to lose a number of their players to clubs in the top flight and Grant seems to be on his way to Old Trafford. Various reports suggest that the Red Devils have already opened talks for his signature and will be able to land him on a free this summer.
So what sense does this move make to United?
Lee Grant And His History:
Having started his youth career at Watford, Grant started his senior career with Derby County in 2000 and spent seven long years at the club, before being sold in 2007. But he returned to Pride Park in 2013 and spent three years as the first choice at the club, before he was snapped up by Stoke City, initially on loan in 2016.
He came to the BET365 as a backup to Jack Butland, who picked up an injury in 2016, that gave Grant 20 league outings that season. He did well enough to retain his place in the squad but was only a back up to Jack Butland last season, making just three league starts all campaign.
He failed to break into the England national side but remains one of the most experienced shot-stoppers in the country at the moment. He is known for his safe pair of hands and his reflexes and is certainly a keeper that belongs in the top flight.
What Will He Add To Mourinho’s Squad:
The Red Devils have David de Gea as their first choice and though the Spaniard is a transfer target for Real Madrid this summer, is expected to sign a new long-term deal at Old Trafford after the World Cup. He will remain the first choice, with Sergio Romero acting as the first choice backup like he did last season.
But United had young Joel Pereira as a contingency, halting the progress of the Portuguese U21 international. They will need a third choice, in case there are injuries to the other two names and reports suggest that Grant is the man Mourinho wants in that role.
This will help Manchester United send Pereira on loan, giving him game time to continue his growth. Grant is good enough to act as a backup to De Gea himself and at 35, will bring loads of experience into the dressing room, that can only make them stronger.