Tuesday 11 December 2018

Further doubt cast over Luke Shaw’s Manchester United future

Left-back was criticised again in the wake of FA Cup clash with Brighton.

Luke Shaw's performance was criticised
Luke Shaw's performance was criticised

By Press Association Sport Staff

Luke Shaw’s Manchester United future is in doubt following further public criticism from Jose Mourinho.

The 22-year-old joined from Southampton in 2014 in what was then a world-record deal for a teenager, fresh from being named in the PFA Team of the Year and becoming the youngest player at the World Cup in Brazil.

But four years on Shaw has fallen down the pecking order with England having struggled for game time at United, thanks in no small part to an inability to win over Mourinho.

Luke Shaw’s future is in doubt (Martin Rickett/PA)The pair have endured a strained relationship since the Portuguese was appointed at the Old Trafford helm in 2016, with the latest low coming in Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Brighton.

Shaw was hauled off midway through the 2-0 win – a move that Press Association Sport understands to have annoyed the left-back, with that anger fuelled by Mourinho’s post-match criticism.

“I had to change one (full-back) and I chose Luke because at least Antonio (Valencia) defensively was capable of good positionings, like in the second half with (Jurgen) Locadia,” Mourinho said.

“Luke in the first half every time they come in his half, the cross come in.”

I had to change one (full-back) and I chose Luke because at least Antonio (Valencia) defensively was capable of good positionings Jose Mourinho

It is not the first time Mourinho has publicly criticised Shaw, only strengthening the left-back’s desire to kick on and prove his worth.

But he is now understood to be reassessing his future – just a month after the United boss suggested a new and improved deal could be deserved for a player whose contract expires next year.

Shaw was linked with a move last summer but stayed put as he recovered from ligament damage in his football, having to make do with reserve football – including time at centre-back – and a peripheral role until belatedly making a first start of the season in December.

Jose Mourinho and Luke Shaw have had issues to work on

The England international made numerous appearances over the festive period and into the New Year, but did not start any of United’s important matches including being overlooked for the matchday squad in both legs of the Champions League last-16 exit to Sevilla.

The United hierarchy are believed to want Shaw to stay but this latest flare-up is only pushing him closer to the exit.

The full-back has been regularly linked with a move to Tottenham, where he would re-join his former Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Chelsea, the club Shaw grew up supporting, are also understood to be interested.

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