Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Manchester United make £15m offer for Marcos Rojo

Marcos Rojo at the World Cup
Marcos Rojo at the World Cup

Manchester United are in pursuit of Argentina’s World Cup finals left-back Marcos Rojo to take the pressure off new signing Luke Shaw, with a £15m offer for the Sporting Lisbon defender.

Rojo is understood to have asked the Portuguese club to negotiate with United who would deploy him as a left wing-back under Louis Van Gaal’s new 3-5-2 formation. With Patrice Evra having left the club this summer there are concerns that the club would be too reliant on the 19-year-old Shaw, signed for £30m after the World Cup finals.

United are not in the bidding for the Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado, at Fiorentina. They have looked at him but do not regard the player as a target and have no further interest. Cuadrado has also attracted interest from Barcelona but is rated at around £30m by his Italian club.

Rojo was part of an excellent Argentinian defence, that took the team to the World Cup final in July – beating Van Gaal’s Netherlands team on penalties in the semi-final. Rojo played as a traditional left-back in that side and would offer serious competition to Shaw in the United team. The 24-year-old could also play as a centre-back which, given that Van Gaal plays three, would also give the United manager options elsewhere in his team.

United face Valencia tonight, Van Gaal’s first game at Old Trafford as manager of the club. He said in his first programme notes that he “could not wait to get started.” Van Gaal wrote: “I have been here before, of course, as a manager with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and I know just how difficult it is for visiting teams at Old Trafford. I am really looking forward to having you on the same side as my players."

He continued: “After [the Valencia game] we will be fully concentrating on the start of the Premier League, which I am really looking forward to. I have managed in Spain and in Germany and in the Netherlands, so there was only one football country I wanted to see inside and that was England, because of the level of the Premier League and because of the atmosphere. I cannot wait to get started.”

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