Mourinho is understood to be unhappy with Shaw’s attitude, despite the player believing he has done everything possible to prove himself. The 22-year-old fears he will not be given a meaningful first-team chance again.
Shaw was part of United’s squad on the pre-season tour of the US, where he followed his own training regime as he recovered from ankle ligament damage. The defender, who made his England debut in 2014, was intent on forcing his way back into Mourinho’s plans but the manager does not feel Shaw has done enough to merit a return to the starting XI since achieving full fitness.
Shaw has featured only twice this season, as a replacement in the Carabao Cup. The second of those appearances came in Tuesday night’s 2-0 last-16 win at Swansea City. Yet Shaw was allowed only three minutes by Mourinho, who preferred to start Axel Tuanzebe, a 19-year-old who had yet to feature this term and had previously made five career appearances.
Shaw is considering his options, though it is thought a move as early as the January, on a permanent basis at least, is unlikely.
In April Mourinho openly questioned Shaw’s ability, saying the player was far behind team-mates and that even a place on the bench was difficult to justify. After Shaw failed to be named as a substitute for a 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion on 1 April, Mourinho said: “I cannot compare the way he trains, the way he commits, the focus, the ambition. I cannot compare. He is a long way behind.”
Shaw was signed by Mourinho’s predecessor, Louis van Gaal, in 2014 for around £27m, then a world-record fee for a teenager. Yet on that summer’s tour of the US Van Gaal claimed Shaw was overweight, and the former Southampton defender then suffered a succession of injuries.
The worst of these was a double leg break in September 2015 at PSV Eindhoven which ruled out Shaw for the rest of the season.
Shaw returned last season but made only 20 appearances, the last in a 1-1 draw with Swansea City on 30 April before he was again injured, suffering the ankle ligament damage.
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