Louis van Gaal has refused to get in a public war of words with Jose Mourinho but insisted he would be having a word with the Chelsea manager after he made comments regarding Luke Shaw’s wage demands.
Manchester United’s new manager was aware that his counterpart at Stamford Bridge had criticised the Old Trafford summer arrival’s contract demands, but refused to answer journalists’ questions over the comments.
“I don't have to answer, I don't think I have to discuss things with the media. It's better to discuss it with Jose,” he told reporters on the club’s pre-season USA tour.
Shaw moved from Southampton to Manchester United this summer in a deal worth in the region of £27million and the Red Devils had to fight off interest from Chelsea to land the 19-year-old sensation.
Mourinho revealed why the Blues had pulled out of the deal in the end, describing Shaw’s reported £130,000-a-week salary as far too much and said it would have “killed” his team.
Dressing room issue
“If we pay to a 19-year-old boy what we were being asked for, to sign Luke Shaw, we are dead,” he said on Friday.
“We would have killed our stability with financial fair play and killed the stability in our dressing room.
“Because when you pay that much to a 19-year-old kid – a good player, fantastic player – but when you pay that amount of money, the next day, we would have had players knocking on our door.
“They would have been saying, ‘How is it possible I play 200 games for this club, won this and that, yet a 19-year-old comes here and gets more money than I get?’
“It would’ve killed immediately our balance and we couldn’t allow that. I don’t criticise another club for paying it. They can pay what they want. I don’t have any comment about it. But for my club we can say it would be very negative for us, especially when we can say Filipe [Luis] is much less expensive. Sometimes you have to make decisions.”
Too much, too young?
Mourinho may have a point with his critique of paying unproven talent astronomical wages, though Chelsea were possibly the first team in the Premier League to pay huge wages and it goes to show how much of an effect FFP is having.
Shaw is unlikely to be too fussed about the Portuguese’s words and he will have to stay focussed in pre-season as the way things stand he will be the first choice left-back at Old Trafford once the Premier League season starts in three weeks.
Patrice Evra would have been the senior man in that position but it was confirmed early this week that the France international would be joining Juventus for a fee in the region of £1million and signing a two-year deal.