It’s been talked about so long, the deal almost seemed inevitable: Luke Shaw would start the 2014-2015 Premier League season as a Manchester United player.
But now, it seems, the deal is not as certain as many (especially many Manchester United fans) would like to believe.
Bringing in Shaw seemed necessary at the end of the season. Patrice Evra’s contract was about to expire, he’d be off to Italy or France, and only Alex Büttner would remain. As such, before his sacking, David Moyes was already laying the groundwork for Shaw’s transfer. United would meet Southampton’s asking price of £30m (~$50m), and would offer the 18-year-old a salary of £100,000 per week (~$168,000).
However, on Friday Manchester United offered Patrice Evra a one-year contract extension, news that came as a surprise to many. Now, it could be that Louis van Gaal wants to keep the 33-year-old available as a backup. But many believe offering an extension to Evra was a sign things weren’t going smoothly in United’s pursuit of Shaw.
That, or van Gaal simply isn’t interested in paying inflated prices for a teenager who’s impressed with one strong season at Southampton. It’s already been made clear that United’s new coach will be shopping the Bundesliga for many of his transfers, where he can find talents at lower prices than those in the Premier League.
Then again, £30m for Shaw could be a steal, if United could hold on to him for, say, 15 years. Making that sort of investment would show they’re not interested in just a superficial makeover at the club, but in really laying the groundwork for a successful future.