Tuesday 18 September 2018

Manchester United players may confront Jose Mourinho over 'vindictive' treatment of Luke Shaw

Jose Mourinho and Luke Shaw have had issues to work on
Jose Mourinho and Luke Shaw have had issues to work on
Luke Shaw. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

James Ducker

Senior figures at Manchester United are becoming increasingly perturbed by Jose Mourinho's treatment of Luke Shaw and fear the manager's persistent public humiliating of the England defender is also damaging the player's transfer value.

Shaw was subjected to more scathing public criticism from Mourinho last Saturday after the left-back was hauled off at half-time of United's 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over Brighton at Old Trafford.

Some United players believe it is has got to the stage where Shaw is being "bullied" by Mourinho and were both shocked and angered by the player's latest public degrading.

It is understood some senior members of the dressing room are considering addressing the situation with Mourinho.

The United manager was seen angrily shouting at Shaw during the first half and later vented his unhappiness at his performance in interviews, but that was the opposite of how the defender's display was viewed by others in the United camp.

Players' concerns are believed to be shared by some staff at United, who feel Mourinho has overstepped the mark and that his treatment of Shaw is now at risk of appearing "vindictive".

They are also thought to be worried that Shaw's transfer value is being eroded by Mourinho's relentless criticism of the 22-year-old, for whom United paid £28m when he joined them from Southampton four years ago.

Shaw, who seems likely to miss out on a place at the World Cup finals with England after finding himself on the periphery at United, is out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of next season and could form part of a significant cull at the end of this campaign.

Defenders Matteo Darmian, Daley Blind and Chris Smalling and midfielder Ander Herrera also face uncertain futures.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will leave when his contract expires at the end of the season and midfielder Marouane Fellaini could do the same, while Michael Carrick is due to retire in June and join the club's coaching staff.

United want to keep Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial but both have had their difficulties with Mourinho.

Mourinho has previously questioned Shaw's commitment, focus and ambition as well as his football intelligence and was similarly uncompromising in his appraisal of the player after the Brighton match.

"Luke, in the first half, every time they came in his corridor, the cross came in and a dangerous situation was coming. I was not happy with his performance," Mourinho said.

"Every player can play bad but when you see, 'Please Mr, take me from the pitch'... That is what I thought."

There is recognition within Old Trafford that, injury problems and a double leg break aside, Shaw has had his fitness issues amid criticism of his lifestyle.

However, there was a belief he had shown mental fortitude to come back from Mourinho's frequents rebukes and was starting regularly in December and early in the new year before he suffered another sudden fall from grace.

Mourinho claimed in mid-January that he "didn't see many better left-backs" than Shaw.

However, since then, the left-back has played only 113 minutes in the Premier League and started only four matches in all competitions, with Ashley Young the first-choice left-back. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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