England manager Roy Hodgson has phoned Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal in a bid to end their bitter dispute over Luke Shaw, with The Telegraph reporting that both men offering apologies after overstepping the mark in recent weeks.
Van Gaal was thought to be furious that Hodgson drew attention to fitness concerns surrounding his £27m summer signing Luke Shaw earlier this summer, with a row between the pair erupting over the Dutchman's decision to have the left-back do extra training on his own during United's pre-season tour of the United States.
Shaw missed the first month of the Premier League season with a hamstring injury and only drew further attention to the dispute, but Hodgson sought to repair the damage last weekend by asking for Van Gaal's permission to let the 19-year-old join up with the England-Under 21 squad.
That is according to under-21 coach Gareth Southgate, who insisted that Shaw has been positive about what could be perceived as a demotion and him, Van Gaal and Hodgson are now all signing from the same hymn sheet.
Southgate left it to Hodgson
He told The Telegraph: “Roy had that conversation and Louis was very positive about Luke playing for the under-21s.
"If we have five or six at the younger ages then I will deal with the academy manager or first-team manager but in this instance it was Roy because he’s dealing with Louis on [Wayne] Rooney and hopefully others that will be involved.
"I also know from speaking to Luke that he was really positive about him coming and playing first and foremost, playing matches.”
The former Southampton defender has endured a tough start to his United career and was only passed fit to make his debut 10 days ago, in a 2-1 win over West Ham United.
England making changes to Under-21 setup
Shaw helped United emerge victorious by the same scoreline against Everton last weekend, but his own performance was well below par and featured a poor sliding challenge on Tony Hibbert that gifted the visitors a penalty just before half-time.
Hodgson has decided that Shaw would be best served by a spell with the under-21's ahead of a crucial qualifier against their Croatian counterparts, a move in direct contrast to a previous lack of cohesion between the England teams at different levels.
Van Gaal will be monitoring the full-back closely and given the current defensive injury crisis at Old Trafford must be desperate for the ex-Saints starlet to come through international duty unscathed.
On a wider scale it looks like Hodgson and Van Gaal have made an overdue move towards enjoy a more healthy working relationship, which is a huge relief for club and country when you consider Wayne Rooney is captain of both.
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