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New Man Utd contract a 'natural consequence' for Shaw, says Mourinho

Jose Mourinho says it is a "natural consequence" that Luke Shaw will be rewarded with a new Manchester United contract due to the effort he has shown to adapt to his style of play.

The full-back's future at Old Trafford has at times been unclear, with Shaw often falling out of favour with the Portuguese.

However, Shaw has started seven of United's last nine games in all competitions despite battling Ashley Young for the spot at left-back.

And Mourinho says Shaw is doing to enough to earn a new deal.

"With Luke it's not about changing my mind, it's just the evolution or no evolution of his potential," Mourinho told reporters on Friday. "It's just about that.

"Because I know Shaw since he arrived in the Premier League with Southampton and I know his potential, his quality.

"Could he come in my direction and the way I see and think football, the way I like my players on the pitch and in training? He made a big effort. Now, for a few months he is free of minor injuries and I'm really happy.

"So, I think the natural consequence is that he will have his [new] contract and he will be a Manchester United player for years."

United travel to St. James' Park on Sunday to take on Newcastle United, Mourinho renewing his rivalry with Rafael Benitez at a stadium at which he has never won as a manager.

"I think it's the only stadium in the Premier League [he has not won at], also Huddersfield, but I played there only once," Mourinho said. "I think it's difficult, honestly, I always felt we had beautiful but difficult matches.

"I like to go there, I like the feeling of being at Mr [Bobby] Robson's home, I like the stadium, it is really nice and I like the atmosphere, they are good and enthusiastic. I like the Geordies. I like to go there, but I couldn't win, I lost and drew a few times.

"I hope the result is different this time but I know that the characteristics of the game are not going to be different. I think they are a good team and I think they have a very good transfer window with Kenedy and [Islam] Slimani, two players I know well who can improve their team.

"Benitez knows how to get points so I think it is going to be difficult. They are a big club. What I know of the club, it has an incredible army of fans, a city that lives for the club and supports the club. Normally good players, normally good managers.

"I can remember many of them, some of the best ones in the country. Benitez, another example. It is difficult to understand [Newcastle's problems].

"But if you ask me if they will be in the Championship next season, I say immediately no way. They know how to get the points to stay in the division."

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Daley Blind and Eric Bailly are unavailable for the trip to Newcastle, but Mourinho confirmed Zlatan Ibrahimovic has returned to team training.