Why Liverpool and Tottenham could do battle over Luke Shaw in summer
Liverpool and Tottenham could be two possible destinations for Manchester United defender Luke Shaw in the summer transfer window
It’s no secret that Liverpool need a left-back. Jurgen Klopp has been using James Milner in an unorthodox full-back position throughout the 2016-17 season with relative success. However, it isn’t a long-term solution for Klopp. It is clear that the German doesn’t trust Alberto Moreno. Manchester United are thought to be holding out for £16m for Shaw, which Liverpool would surely view as a very appealing price given his age and potential. Klopp could continue with Milner and ease Shaw into the left-back role. Would Manchester United sell to Liverpool? Well, Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t allow Gabriel Heinze to move to Liverpool in 2011 and Jose Mourinho would surely be loathe to present his rival Klopp with the chance to kickstart Shaw’s career. It could backfire spectacularly on the Manchester United boss.
According to reports, Shaw would be open to be reunited with his former Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham Hotspur. Shaw produced his best football under the Argentinian coach, who has shown at both Saints and Spurs that he has a talent for bringing out the best in unpolished young players. The England international is thought to be on £100,000 a week at Old Trafford. Whether Spurs chairman Daniel Levy would be willing to equal his current Manchester United contract is a point of contention given Harry Kane has only recently been rewarded with a £100,000-a-week deal. Given the Pochettino connection, it’s a transfer that would make sense. The fact that Manchester United have been linked with Tottenham left-back Danny Rose is an interesting element to any potential deal involving Shaw and Spurs.
Could it be a case of home sweet home? Shaw earned rave reviews upon Southampton’s promotion to the Premier League. Indeed, the England international proved to be one of the division’s most-entertaining young players driving down the left wing to help the Saints achieve finishes in the top half of the Premier League. There could be two big issues in terms of a return to Southampton. The Saints wouldn’t be able to match his current wages, which means Shaw would have to accept a pay cut. Would the England man really be willing to consider a return to St Mary’s which would translate to the defender being a failure having failed to establish himself at a top club such as Manchester United.
Another feasible destination for Shaw could be Everton. The Toffees have an ambitious manager in the shape of Ronald Koeman and the Dutch coach has already managed to lure another Old Trafford flop to Goodison Park. Morgan Schneiderlin, who played alongside Shaw at Southampton, moved to Everton in the January transfer window after being deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford. Koeman included eight young Everton players in his match day squad as the Toffees battled to a 1-1 draw with Manchester United mid-week. So Koeman would have the patience and willingness to work with Shaw’s flaws. The 21-year-old would have to compete with one of the Premier League’s most-consistent left-backs Leighton Baines. However, given that the former Wigan man is now 32, Shaw could learn from Baines before becoming his eventual successor at left-back for Everton.
Jose Mourinho’s dressing down of Shaw has raised eyebrows amongst the ex professionals and pundits. Some believe it is Mourinho sending a message to the Manchester United board that he wants a new left-back. Others believe Mourinho is putting his brutal man management skills to work and looking to coax a reaction from Shaw after perhaps failing to get through to the defender in private. If the latter is true, perhaps Shaw could have a future at Manchester United after all. Indeed, the 20-time English champions would surely be loathe to sell a player that cost £27m and has a reputation as England’s future at left-back.