Manchester United Transfer News: Latest on Ashley Young, Top Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2017

Manchester United's English midfielder Ashley Young attends a team training session at the club's training complex near Carrington, west of Manchester in north west England on September 11, 2017, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League Group A football match against FC Basel. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLIS        (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho has revealed he never considered selling Ashley Young this summer and believes the versatile 32-year-old is still a key figure in Manchester United's squad.

Mourinho said Young was always in his plans, per Stuart Mathieson of the Manchester Evening News: "(There were) suggestions, but not from me. I always thought that he was not to leave, he wants to stay."

Young was a fringe player during Mourinho's first season in 2016/17, but he has become valuable again during the early portion of this campaign.

He was the subject of transfer rumours this summer, with Stoke City making an approach in July, according to Warren Haughton of The Sun.

A report in August from Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News revealed Young would stay beyond the end of the summer transfer window because United's asking price had "put off potential buyers."

Mourinho has been relying on Young to boost United's options at full-back.
Mourinho has been relying on Young to boost United's options at full-back.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

United will be thankful after the way the former Watford and Aston Villa winger has made a successful conversion to left-back, solving a tricky dilemma for Mourinho in the process.

United's squad has been short at the left-back position, particularly while Luke Shaw has struggled with injuries. Mourinho recently called on Shaw to continue working and improving as he bids to finally become a fixture in the Red Devils' starting XI, per Sky Sports: "Luke had surgery and a long time without playing football. I cannot expect him to be back and to be strong, strong, strong in his work."

Shaw's absence increased the pressure on players such as Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian to play out of position at left-back. It's a problem Young has solved thanks to better end product than either Blind or Darmian were providing.

Young supplied an assist during United's 3-0 win over FC Basel in the UEFA Champions league earlier this month. It was the signature moment of a standout performance from the veteran, showcasing his ability to also handle defensive responsibilities, as numbers from Squawka Football showed:

Young has since added legitimate defence-stretching pace on the break and regular teasing deliveries from the left flank. Continued strong performances may even encourage Mourinho and United to extend the player's stay at Old Trafford.

Mathieson noted, "Young signed a three-year deal in 2015 and the club has an extra year's option to keep him under the agreement."

United don't plan to discuss any extension until the new year, but Young is keen to stay on, per Luke Edwards of the Daily Telegraph.

Mathieson's report also detailed how Young has played both full-back positions for the Reds. His versatility and experience are proving invaluable for Mourinho's title-chasers.