Shaw puts difficult spell behind him by signing new €180k-a-week deal
Luke Shaw has admitted that the prospect of him staying at Manchester United looked "impossible" last season.
Shaw would have been a free agent at the end of the season but any fears United harboured about losing the England defender for nothing next summer were dispelled yesterday when he signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract that ties him to Old Trafford until June 2023.
United have the option to extend the deal by a further 12 months.
Shaw's salary will rocket from around to £130,000 a week (€148,000) to in excess of £160,000 (€182,000) a week including bonuses.
Yet the 23-year-old defender has acknowledged that his future at the club looked bleak at times over the past year when his relationship with manager Jose Mourinho appeared on the brink of collapse.
Shaw had been subjected to a series of public humiliations by Mourinho, who had questioned his commitment, focus, ambition and football brain, but the latest news completes a dramatic turnaround in the player's fortunes after winning the manager's trust with a solid start to the season.
"If you looked at my situation in the last year or year and a bit you would have thought this could have kind of been impossible but I worked hard and wanted to make sure my future was here to help this club," Shaw said.
"I knew how important this season was going to be, especially at the start of it coming into my last year. I'm really happy to be in this form and over the pre-season I was working very hard to make sure I gave myself the best opportunity to put myself in the team.
"Thankfully I've done that but the hard work isn't over, I want to stay in the team so I need to keep concentrated and focused and keep going and that's what I'm going to do.
"The fans mean a lot to me. Even in the bad times that I've had when I've not been playing and there has maybe been bad performances, they've always stuck by me and believed in my ability, so a massive thanks to them.
"It's been an odd five years for me - there have been ups and downs. Now it is all about looking forward and to how much I can help the team become a success again."
United will hope to follow Shaw's new contract by tying France forward Anthony Martial to a new five-year deal, despite his fractured relationship with Mourinho, who wanted to sell the player in the summer.
Yet, United are facing a tough battle to convince David de Gea to stay beyond the end of his current deal, which expires at the end of next season, with the goalkeeper concerned about the club's struggles.
Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Ashley Young are all out of contract next summer and United must trigger a one-year option in Antonio Valencia's contract before March 1 or risk the Ecuadorian being free to sign a pre-contract elsewhere.
United are currently eighth in the table and face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, with Mourinho under acute pressure, but Shaw is convinced that there is the hunger and talent at the club to eventually get them back on top.
"Everyone knows how big Manchester is and the success we've had in the years that have gone by but it's only a matter of time, I think, that success will come back," he said.
"We have an amazing group of players, the talent we have is scary, and there are a lot of young lads here who are hungry for trophies and that's good for the team, the club and the fans too."
© Daily Telegraph, London