Luke Shaw hits back at weight critics and opens up on Red Devils future

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Luke Shaw hits back at weight critics and opens up on Red Devils future

shaw in shape

The 23-year-old spoke about his relationship with Jose Mourinho and said he is determined to earn a new deal

Luke Shaw revealed criticism surrounding his weight spurred him on to a summer of intense fitness work and confirmed he will be a Manchester United player when the season begins.

The 23-year-old, whose fitness has been questioned throughout his Red Devils career, was mocked on social media for a picture taken from his holiday in Ibiza earlier this summer.

Shaw in pre-season action

Shaw in pre-season action

However, after a rigorous pre-season fitness programme, the left-back posted a photo of himself in great shape on Instagram earlier this month and has now responded to his critics.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, he said: “People think because of the way that I’m naturally built I’m bigger than I am. Of course people can say that I’m fat but I know my own body.

“Of course I always look big because I’m bigger built and I’m sort of that, you could say, a Wayne Rooney type of body.

“But of course I worked hard and not just for them [the critics], but I wanted to for myself get in the best shape and that wasn’t my best shape.

“It was a good shape to start the season off the pre-season, but now I’m working harder than ever and first game of the season I want to look 10 times better than what I did in that picture.”

Shaw has been Jose Mourinho’s first-choice left-back during pre-season and looks set to start United’s first Premier League game at home to Leicester on August 10.

Mourinho has publicly complained about Shaw’s performances in the past and their relationship seemed strained at times last season, especially when he was pulled at half-time during their FA Cup quarter-final against Brighton.

But the ex-Southampton man said his manager sent him a supportive message of motivation earlier this summer and ensured he is a big part of United’s future.

“I spoke with the manager about a week after the holidays,” Shaw explains. “I was in Dubai and he texted me and we had a really good chat. It made me feel really confident about the upcoming season and that’s why I worked really hard.

Mourinho has criticised Shaw in the past

Mourinho has criticised Shaw in the past

“It was a breath of fresh air when he texted me. I wasn’t expecting it. I was on my phone and I got the text. I spoke to him and it was really positive, really good.

“He said that he knows I can be the best, but he sometimes feels frustrated that I’m not doing that.

“That’s why it pushes me on more. He says these things because he knows I can do it. He knows I can be a top player. He knows I can play for Manchester United.”

Shaw only has 12 months remaining on his current deal and the club are keen for him to sign an extension.

However, the full-back believes he must earn a new deal, rather than sign out of convenience.

He added: “I don’t think I would want to sign a contract right now.

Shaw in pre-season training

Shaw in pre-season training

“Because I want to prove to people that I deserve a contract, I don’t want to sign one because of blah, blah, blah, whatever happens in the next couple of months, I want to earn a contract and I want a contract because I deserve a contract.

“I don’t want a contract because maybe in the next year or so I’m a free agent, so maybe they might look to tie me down for that. But I want to sign a contract because I deserve it and the club want me to sign one.”

When asked whether he will definitely be a United player when the window closes, he responded: “”Yes. I will be unless something changes dramatically and the manager comes to me and says I’m not in his plans.

“I want to play football. I’m not just here to pick up my salary and do nothing. I’m young, I’m still 23 and still have a very long career, and I want to play games.”

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