Mary Earps says speculation on Man Utd future an ‘injustice’

ngland goalkeeper Mary Earps says some of the speculation regarding her future at Manchester United has been an “injustice” and that “a lot of stuff isn’t true”.

Earps, 30, was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Tuesday evening after helping England reach the 2023 Women’s World Cup final.

Her contract at United runs out in June and she is yet to agree a new deal.

Asked about her future, Earps said: “I don’t know what happens currently.”

She added: “What I will say is there is a lot of stuff that’s been put out there that isn’t true. I’ve remained quiet for a reason.

“I feel I’ve behaved really professionally and with a lot of integrity through this whole situation.

“I play with heart and passion in everything I do and I drive standards. A lot of stuff that’s been put out, isn’t true.

“I want to say more but I can’t at this stage and it’s really hard for me to sit [and be] quiet when I see a lot of things that are not right.

“I think it’s an injustice but I know the appropriate thing to do is focus on my football and see what happens from there.”

Women’s Super League rivals Arsenal made a world record bid for a female goalkeeper for Earps in September, while Barcelona and Paris St-Germain are among the other European clubs to express interest recently.

When the transfer window re-opens in January, Earps is free to talk to clubs outside the WSL, as well as continue negotiations surrounding a potential new contract with United.

Some reports suggested Earps wanted to leave United before the start of the season, while recently it was claimed she was close to agreeing a move to Arsenal, although BBC Sport understands she has not had any conversations with the Gunners recently.

‘Nike say shirt issue will never happen again’

As well as success on the pitch this year, Earps has spoken out about a range of issues within women’s football, including the lack of replica goalkeeper shirts available to buy.

Kit supplier Nike was subject to a backlash after failing to produce any goalkeeper shirts during the Women’s World Cup after Earps said it was “hurtful” fans could not buy one.

When they subsequently produced replica England goalkeeper shirts they rapidly sold out, with one batch snapped up within five minutes from the England online store earlier this month.

“I’m just happy that it was sold. Hopefully as many people got what they wanted but it was more about the principle than anything,” said Earps.

“Would I like to see more shirts? Of course. The reality is there was none [available before]. There was never a thought of [selling them] until what we achieved in the last 12 months.

“It’s been a long, work in progress with all of our voices and the public have got behind me. Now it’s a conversation of ‘OK, how many?’ And that’s a very different conversation to what it was before.”

Earps says she has had “commitment from Nike that it will never happen again” and she hopes other sports brands will follow suit.

“The fact that young girls and adults – whoever want the shirts – can have access to them… People might be complaining now that there’s not enough – but I’ll absolutely take that complaint over there being none,” she added.

‘You realise life is a lot bigger than that’

Mary Earps
Mary Earps won the Golden Glove after picking up three clean sheets during the Women’s World Cup

Earps’ recent accolades cap off an incredible two years under England manager Sarina Wiegman in which she has established herself as the Lionesses’ number one, helping them win Euro 2022 and reach the 2023 Women’s World Cup final.

The United goalkeeper also played a key role in England’s penalty shootout victory over Brazil to win the first Women’s Finalissima at Wembley Stadium in 2023.

Asked what her next ambition was, Earps said: “I want to win the lot. One day it would be my absolute dream to win the Champions League and the World Cup – that would be amazing.”

But Earps’ career has not always been plain sailing.

After being dropped by former England manager Phil Neville in 2019, Earps admitted she was close to quitting football and had explored different career options.

“There’s a lot of self-reflection and development I had to do. I needed to figure out what I wanted to do in life again,” said Earps.

“But equally, that preparation and readiness needs to meet with opportunity. There’s no doubt that if Sarina [Wiegman] hadn’t given me that, I would be nowhere near where I am today and I would probably be retired.

“There’s two parts to me. I’m a very hungry athlete and I want to win every trophy and I don’t want to stop until I have a full cabinet. If I’ve won them all, I want to win them all again.

“There’s that part of me but there’s also the part of me that has been to a different place in my life where I didn’t have that level of success and you realise life is a lot bigger than that.”

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