SOURCES close to Luke Shaw have spoken out against Jose Mourinho’s “disgusting” and “disgraceful” treatment of the Manchester United left back as teammate Anthony Martial flirts with an exit from Old Trafford.
Shaw’s future now stands as one of the biggest sagas in English football, after the 22-year-old was hooked at half time of United’s FA Cup win over Brighton, with Mourinho accused of bullying the defender.
With as many as nine players set to depart in the summer as part of Mourinho’s squad overhaul, Shaw’s position at United now looks untenable, having consistently been the target of the manager’s scorn in the media.
And according to Sky Sports UK reporter Kaveh Solhekol, the situation has become so sour, Shaw would have a case for constructive dismissal in another industry as Mourinho reportedly attempts to force him out of the club.
“Mourinho’s treatment of Luke is an absolute disgrace,” Solhekol’s source said
“If he has a problem with him the decent thing to do would be to keep it in-house.
“If this kind of abuse happened in any other workplace there’d be a case for constructive dismissal. It’s disgusting.”
Despite the media storm surrounding Shaw, he could now be called up into the England squad for March friendlies after left back Ryan Bertrand was forced to withdraw due to injury.
“I want to see Luke do well,” said United teammate Ashley Young, who has been favoured at left back this season.
“He just has to get his head down and work. I feel he can be one of the best in the world.”
But Young also publically sided with Mourinho when asked about his handling of players, saying the Portuguese has seen success as a result of his methods.
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“The manager has been successful at every club he’s been at,” he said.
“I don’t think he would have been that successful if he didn’t know how to handle players.
“We know as players we go out onto the training pitch and work hard, but when you can, he has a laugh and joke, so he’s got both sides to him and that’s the best way for a manager to be.”
Despite this, Mourinho has been publically questioned by UK pundits, with former Southampton star Matt Le Tissier saying the Special One was “destroying” the talented fullback.
“I think if Mourinho is still there then it is inevitable Shaw will leave this summer,” Le Tissier told Sky Sports
“I have no idea what he is trying to achieve. There is just a really strange relationship going on there and I don’t understand what he’s doing because he’s just destroying the player at the moment.
“I’m not sure if it was anything to do with [Shaw] choosing Manchester United over Chelsea despite being a Chelsea fan when Mourinho was manager at the time.
“You also don’t know what happens at training or how he lives his life to give an accurate assessment but, while there are players that this sort of approach can work with, I just don’t think Shaw is one of them.”
But an accusation about Shaw’s diet has surfaced, with The Daily Mail reporting Southampton warned United about the youngster’s professionalism before he sealed his transfer.
The report claims the Saints told United staff about the then 19-year-old’s fondness for fast food and fizzy drinks, while previous Louis van Gaal questioned Shaw’s physical conditioning after he returned from the World Cup for his first pre-season campaign as a Red Devil.
Shaw was also disciplined by Mourinho’s right hand man Rui Faria for posting a video of himself doing a fitness workout on his day off despite being publically criticised by his manager for his fitness and work rate.
Mourinho had cut down the star, saying he was “a long way behind [teammates Young, Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian] in the way he trains, the way he commits, the focus, the ambition.”
Meanwhile, The Independent reports Anthony Martial is set for more rumours about his future after his agent offered no guarantees that he will stay in the north west.
The 22-year-old has struggled to nail down a first team role, with competition from Juan Mata, Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, with Arsenal interested in signing the Frenchman in January.
Now, Martial’s agent – Philippe Lamboley – has fuelled talks the player could leave in the summer by not giving a committed answer when asked about the attacker’s future.
“Will [Martial] stay in Manchester in the summer? At the moment, I cannot say anything else about it,” Lamboley told Il Bianconero.
“His goal is to win the FA Cup and to cement with Manchester United the second place in the Premier League.”