Jose Mourinho signed legendary striker Ibrahimovic on a free transfer in the summer of 2016 and the Swede scored 28 goals in his first season at Old Trafford to help the club win the Europa League and EFL Cup.
While Ibrahimovic’s stint at the Theatre of Dreams was cut short due to injury, he made a huge impact on and off the pitch, according to Grant.
Manchester United goalkeeper Grant was not at the club during Ibrahimovic’s spell but has revealed tales of the Swedish forward’s antics were often recalled by current players when he arrived.
‘He [Zlatan] wasn’t here as a player but he was in LA, he came and visited us. All I was hearing in that first month or so, while I was acclimatising, were stories about Zlatan,’ Grant told MUTV.
‘His period at the club had just come to an end but the lads would talk about him constantly.
‘“Do you remember when Zlatan did this?” “Do you remember him getting on to such and such in training and he nearly made him cry?” “Do you remember that thing he does, the kung-fu kick over his head?” “Do you remember Zlatan scored that goal?” “Do you remember when he nutmegged that guy and absolutely took the p***?”
‘I thought: “Oh my god, who is this Zlatan character?” But that was what it was like all the time.
‘I got to meet him in LA but it was literally for five or 10 minutes, just to say hello and ask how he was enjoying America and all the rest of it.
‘For me, just to see how the lads interacted with him. Huge stars, well huge stars to me, looking up to the King! It was quite an eye-opener. But he seemed a really nice guy.
‘I’m actually disappointed I didn’t get the chance to play with him myself. I played against him, of course.’
Grant, playing for Stoke City, came up against Ibrahimovic in a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford in October 2016.
‘I had him on toast,’ Grant joked. ‘He’s in here, in my pocket somewhere.
‘I had him on toast that day. Of course, I wouldn’t say that to his face. If I was training against him, I would imagine he would have me on toast more than I had him on toast but that was a good day for me.
‘I wanted to show the Manchester United fans, and everyone in that stadium, not consciously perhaps, but I wanted the fans to remember Lee Grant after this game.
‘Subconsciously, I really wanted to do well and make some impression. I made 10 saves and had a really good game.’