The Manchester United manager insists he has only heard about reported interest in the winger from Asia through the media
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho does not believe speculation that Ashley Young is in line for a move to the Chinese Super League.
Reports suggest CSL side Shandong Luneng are keen to sign the 31-year-old, whose last Premier League start came in a 3-1 win over Swansea City on November 6, and are prepared to offer him a £16million annual salary.
But Mourinho has only heard of the prospect through the media and has not been informed of the interest by Young, which makes him confident the claims are untrue.
The Portuguese, though, reiterated he will not stand in the way of any player who is not a first-team regular and wants to leave, providing an appropriate offer is received.
“I don’t know because the first time I heard about it was when I was informed it was in the media,” Mourinho said ahead of Saturday’s match at Stoke City.
“So I don’t give credit to that unless Ashley Young comes to tell me about it – which he didn’t.
“I was not even thinking about Morgan [Schneiderlin] and Memphis [Depay] going.
“We allowed them to because the right offer arrived. In the end Everton and Lyon fought for the players, and with players who are not totally happy here because they don’t have the minutes they deserve it. It is not human to stop them going.
“Only a bad offer or no offer would stop that, but when the offer is correct we evaluate that. If one of the other players is not happy, again, I won’t stop them going.”
But United remain unlikely to add to their squad in January, with Mourinho saying: “In some positions we are going to have problems because we do not have so many options.
“We can have a lot of matches in the cup competitions and an accumulation in April and May.
“But I always think the best time is the summer market. I always consider the January market as an emergency one where you can try to resolve some problems, try to give a little boost to the team for the rest of the season but it is not an easy market. I have to admit that.
“We are in a very good situation with injuries. Hopefully until the end of the season we will not have many problems, we survive and can fight for the competitions we are in.”
United’s nine-match winning streak was brought to an end by a 1-1 draw at home to Liverpool last weekend, but they remain unbeaten in 16 games across all competitions as they prepare to face Stoke.
“We are not going to play any match to try to be unbeaten for one more match, or to try to reach 18 or 20, not at all,” said Mourinho.
“We want to win matches, we try to win matches, we risk to win matches. If we lose, we lose, and we lose the unbeaten run.