Jose Mourinho has insists Luke Shaw is not in the Manchester United squad because he is not fit enough to play.
The full-back has played just 13 times this season and has not been named in a matchday squad since November.
Reports have been circulating that Mourinho is ready to sell Shaw amid concerns about his fitness and the United boss admitted the defender was going through a rough patch at the club.
‘Of course, that’s basic,’ said Mourinho when asked if it was injuries that were preventing Shaw from playing.
‘You try to have in the squad the players with more minutes, the players in better shape, the players in better conditions.
‘And, in Luke Shaw’s case, even in the game where he was ready to play and to start the game and to have again 90 minutes against Reading [in the FA Cup], on the morning of the game he was ill and not ready to play.
‘So, even in that match that could be a good match for him to be back, he was not able to, so he’s having a difficult period.’
Shaw has been publicly criticised by Mourinho for his fitness this season while the player’s agent hit out at reports linking the 21-year-old with a move away from Old Trafford.
United have yet to see Shaw’s full potential with the left-back’s Red Devils career seriously interrupted when he broke his leg.