Jose Mourinho has spoken out about reports linking Ashley Young with a move to the Chinese Super League during the transfer window, noting that the Englishman has not approached him to discuss any potential transfer.
It was reported that Young had been approached by Shandong Luneng, alongside other clubs, ahead of a potential big money move in January.
The Englishman has made ten appearances so far this season, with five of those coming from the bench.
Mourinho, speaking ahead of Man United’s game with Stoke City on Saturday, was quick to dismiss the reports as nothing more than media speculation.
“I don’t know because the first time I heard about it was when I was informed that it was in the media,” he said. “I don’t give credit to that, unless Ashley comes and tells me something about it, which he didn’t.”
Young has been used on a somewhat sporadic basis by Mourinho this season. The 53-year-old clearly views the 31-year-old as less of a week-in-week-out player and more of a specialised, context-dependent influence, drafted in when a particular game requires extra levels of discipline and energy.
A superb example would be United’s visit to Anfield – a game that saw Young attract praise from the boss at full-time for what was a dedicated, businesslike performance. Supporters will hope to see performances of a similar ilk further down the line this season.