Man Utd and Sporting agree Rojo deal, with Nani used as bait
Sporting Lisbon have announced that Argentine defender Marcos Rojo is to sign for Premier League fourth-favourites Manchester United (8/1), with Red Devils winger Nani going the other way to rejoin his former club on a season long loan.
United, meanwhile, said in a statement: “Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached an agreement with Sporting Lisbon to sign defender Marcos Rojo, subject to a medical and agreeing personal terms.
“A further announcement will be made when the process is complete.”
Prior to the announced deal, Rojo said: “It feels like a dream, to be a Manchester United player. Leaving Sporting wasn’t easy. I have always liked English football, I’ll have to adapt quickly to the playing style.”
Reports suggest that Sporting will also receive a fee of around £16m. They will earn just 25 per cent of that due to Rojo’s third party ownership.
“It’s a dream to play at Manchester United and I am very proud of having the chance of working with [Man Utd manager Louis] van Gaal,” Rojo continued.
“I spoke with [former Red Devils playmaker] Juan Sebastian Veron about Manchester United when we were at Estudiantes. I have always liked English football, and I should adapt to this new playing style easily”
Rojo will likely be used as a left wing back for the time being, as new signing Luke Shaw is out injured, but the Argentine can also operate as a centre back, where he played for his club.
United opened their 2014/15 Premier League campaign with a shock home loss to Swansea City, with their defence looking unsure again, as Van Gaal was forced to blood youth players Jesse Lingard and Tyler Blackett at the back. Ashley Young, meanwhile, replaced Shaw at left wing back. Besides Rojo, another centre half, it seems, is still needed.
Rojo, who has 28 international caps, appeared for his country in the recent World Cup, where he heavily featured to help the South Americans to the final. He played left back in Brazil, so should fit easily into United’s defence.
After initially refusing to train with his club to try and speed up the move to United, Rojo apologised to Sporting.
“There was a misunderstanding,” he said prior to the transfer being concluded. “I never wanted to do something wrong at Sporting as I have always been very thankful to that team that gave me many chances for playing in Europe.
“If I made a mistake, I have already apologised because I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of anyone at the club.”
Man Utd’s next league game is away to Sunderland, where Rojo could make his debut, and are odds-on favourites at 8/11 to win.