Manchester United will listen to offers for Luke Shaw this summer with the England defender’s relationship with Jose Mourinho at an all-time low and the manager determined to sign a new first choice left back.
Shaw was omitted from United’s squad for the goalless draw against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday in what has become a regular occurrence and insiders at Old Trafford would not be surprised if he does not start another game this season and struggles to get more than a few minutes here and there.
Explaining his reasons for again overlooking Shaw, Mourinho offered a damning indictment of the left back’s attitude and application and claimed he was a “long way behind” Ashley Young, Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian in his thoughts. With Marcos Rojo also able to play left back when he is not deployed at centre-half, Shaw is a distant fifth in the Old Trafford pecking order.
“Luke Shaw? It was difficult for him to be on the bench because I cannot compare him with Ashley Young, with Darmian, with Blind,” Mourinho said. “The way he trains, the way he commits, the focus, the ambition, I cannot compare. He’s a long way behind.”
When it was put to Mourinho that this was an England international he was talking about, the United manager replied: “Yes. Joe Hart is an English international and is playing on loan in Italy [at Torino from Manchester City].”
As well as targeting a new striker, defensive midfielder and centre-half, Mourinho is eager to bring a quality left back to United during the close season. Benjamin Mendy, the France international who has been outstanding for Monaco this term, is of considerable interest. Kieran Tierney, the highly regarded Celtic and Scotland teenager, has also been watched, although Manchester City and Arsenal are also chasing the 19-year-old.
Despite the breakdown in Shaw’s relationship with Mourinho, United are unwilling to offload Shaw – who has just over two years to run on his £130,000 a week contract - on the cheap, even if hopes of recouping the £28 million they paid Southampton for the player in 2014 may be optimistic given his dramatic fall from grace.
Shaw would love to be reunited with Mauricio Pochettino, his former Southampton manager with whom he maintains a good relationship, at Tottenham Hotspur but his prospects of a move to White Hart Lane would appear to hinge on Danny Rose leaving the club. Rose has attracted strong interest from Manchester City but Tottenham’s eagerness to keep him, the left back’s £50 million valuation and the difficulties of negotiating with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy offer no guarantees City will pursue a deal.
Shaw’s relationship with Mourinho does not seem to have recovered since a meeting in 2014 when the Portuguese wanted to bring the player to Chelsea only to apparently be unimpressed with his pre-occupation with the financial terms of a prospective deal. Despite living close to Chelsea’s training ground and being a supporter of the club, Shaw subsequently joined United.
More recently, there were reports of Shaw being rebuked by Mourinho after the defender started talking to some of Bournemouth’s players after the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last month. Shaw has not featured since.