Will Saints land centre back or is it a no-go for Rojo?
Sporting Lisbon defender Marcos Rojo is being tracked by Southampton as boss Ronald Koeman looks to adequately replace Dejan Lovren, who moved to Liverpool for £20m.
Rojo, playing at left back, helped Argentina to a second place finish at the World Cup this summer, and impressed in La Albiceleste’s rear-guard. His club, however, have quoted £16m for his services and it is unlikely they will budge with Saints, who are 7/4 to secure a top 10 finish next season, having amassed in excess of £90m in outgoings.
The south coast club have reportedly already had an £11m bid rejected for Rojo, who is yet to make a decision on where he will be playing his football long term.
Speaking recently, he revealed: “We still do not know what my future will be, for now I intend to return to Sporting on the 30th July, and then we’ll see. It is a matter for the club and my representatives. I’m cool.”
Having sold Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers and Lovren this summer, and with speculation mounting about the futures of midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and attacker Jay Rodriguez, they need new recruits fast.
Italian striker Graziano Pelle, and Serbia international winger Dusan Tadic have already signed on permanent deals at St Mary’s, as well as Chelsea left back Ryan Bertrand on a season-long loan, with a £10m purchase option at the end of the season.
Jose Mourinho and Liverpool counterpart Brendan Rodgers have also allegedly expressed an interest in Rojo, however Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal’s search for a versatile defender may see the Red Devils enter the running. Arsene Wenger is also understood to be in the hunt to bring a centre back to Arsenal this summer.
One thing is for sure, Southampton need to replace Lovren before the first match of the season away to Liverpool, a match that the Saints are 7/1 to win.