Manchester United are convinced a £30m deal to buy Luke Shaw on a £100,000 a-week salary is virtually complete in what is viewed as a major coup over Chelsea, with the sacked David Moyes largely responsible for convincing the Southampton left-back to spurn the club he supports.
The prospective transfer would make Shaw English football’s highest ever paid teenager and provides a boost for United in the wake of the Scot’s departure as the club embark on finding his replacement ahead of a summer in which they are intent on a spend of up to £150m on rebuilding the squad.
The £100,000 a-week, five-year contract, on offer to Shaw is a vast amount for an 18-year-old, and far greater than Chelsea are willing to pay. Once the west London club were informed of what United were willing to pay they decided to pull out of the race to sign him.
The proposed personal terms would see him placed well above the bracket of Adnan Januzaj, who when agreeing a fresh five-year contract at Old Trafford last autumn received a salary of around £60,000 a-week.
With Southampton demanding £30m to sell Shaw, who himself signed a new contract at the south coast club last July, United are also willing to pay more than Chelsea will countenance to buy him as they embark upon the major rebuilding of the squad.
Despite being relived of his duties, Moyes is recognised at United for being largely responsible for persuading Shaw to place United ahead of Chelsea, with the Scot having put in long hours of work to try and secure the hottest prospect in the domestic game.
Chelsea were considered firm favourites to land Shaw, a lifelong Chelsea supporter whose parents live near the club’s Cobham training centre in Surrey. Yet the terms on offer plus the lure of becoming Patrice Evra’s instant successor at left-back has boosted confidence at Old Trafford that Shaw will join the club.
Evra, 33 next month, was considering leaving United in the close season but the Frenchman is now minded to stay. Shaw has been informed of this and that Evra would be happy to act as his mentor as the Frenchman is aware that United need to bring in a long-term replacement for himself.
Shaw’s rise to prominence has been so rapid this season that he could go to the summer’s World Cup in Brazil in Roy Hodgson’s England squad at the cost of Ashley Cole, who has 107 caps and was first-choice until Everton’s Leighton Baines ousted him during the current campaign.
As reported by the Guardian Shaw wants his future to be decided before the World Cup and the sense at United is that he will become the club’s first major signing of the summer.
The sacking of Moyes is also causing many players who might have left in the summer if the Scot was still manager to consider staying. Danny Welbeck had decided he wanted to depart due to differences with Moyes. Now, the striker is minded to stay and other players, including Shinji Kagawa, Javier Hernandez, Rio Ferdinand, Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher and Ashley Young, whose futures were all in doubt, believe they will be offered a fresh start under whoever becomes Moyes’ permanent replacement.
Despite United now having only an interim manager in Ryan Giggs as the search for a permanent No1 begins, the club believes Moyes’s departure has not affected its hopes of prising Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich.