Jose Mourinho confirms he convinced Ashley Young to stay at Manchester United over the summer

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that selling Ashley Young to another club was never an option over the summer transfer window.

The Englishman, who only made 12 Premier League appearances last season, was subject to interest from Stoke City, Istanbul Basaksehir and several Chinese Super League ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.

But Young decided to remain at Old Trafford over the summer, with interested parties put off by his valuation, and has made four appearances since returning from a groin injury earlier this month.

And Mourinho, speaking ahead of Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace, made it clear that a move for Young over the summer was never on the cards.

“Suggestions but not from me, I said he was to stay and not to leave,” he noted.

The Portuguese clearly values the 32-year-old as an important example to the younger members of the squad and letting go over the summer would have made little sense at all.

And his performances on both flanks in recent weeks have only served to highlight just how much United need Young’s disciplined, forward-thinking influence this season.

United were linked with Serge Aurier and Nelson Semedo over the summer as back-up for Antonio Valencia, but Mourinho has the perfect alternative option – someone with less drive, perhaps, yet positionally astute and lethal from set pieces – sitting under his nose.

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