Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw is ready to defy Louis van Gaal by declaring himself available to take part in this summer's European Under 21 Championship with England, despite the Red Devils boss insisting the £28 million signing from Southampton needs some time off from football to recuperate.
The 19-year-old defender moved to Old Trafford fresh off the back of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and his below par performances for the Premier League giants were blamed on a lack of rest during the close-season.
Shaw has struggled to reproduce the kind of form he showed at St Mary's last term and has struggled with a number of niggling injuries that have disrupted his debut campaign at the Theatre of Dreams.
But, despite that the talented teenager remains determined to represent Gareth Southgate's Three Lions side if called upon by the U21 boss for next month’s tournament in the Czech Republic.
According to the Daily Mail, Southgate is set to name his preliminary squad on Wednesday and Shaw is expected to be included in that 30-man list, as the ongoing club-versus-country row takes another dramatic twist.
The Football Association retain the power to overrule any Premier League club that's reluctant to release their players anyway, so Shaw's participation cannot actually be decided by the veteran Dutch coach.
However, the flying full-back risks angering his current boss by going against his recommendations and linking up with the young Lions with a view to featuring in the summer competition.
Manchester United supporters are unlikely to take the news too well, especially when you consider that Shaw has struggled to justify not only his price-tag, but also his mouth-watering £120,000-a-week wages.
He's managed just 20 first-team appearances for the club so far this season and was absent again for Sunday's 1-1 draw with Arsenal with a minor head injury.
If the former Saints star does indeed go on to play for England U21s this summer then it will surely increase the chance of him returning for pre-season fatigued.
Manchester United fans: How do you feel about Luke Shaw playing in the European U21 Championship this summer? Is Louis van Gaal right to warn the defender against taking part? Have your say below...
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