Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Manchester United's capture of Rojo 'the first of many'

Left-back Marcos Rojo is on his way to Old Trafford
Left-back Marcos Rojo is on his way to Old Trafford

Louis van Gaal has made his first signing of the summer for Manchester United — and it won’t be his last.

The Dutchman had been prepared to give most of the players who failed previous United boss David Moyes another chance under him — but the Moyes-like home defeat against Swansea on Saturday changed all that.

Now, instead of waiting until January, Van Gaal will splash the cash, starting with £16m for Argentinian defender Marcos Rojo.

United confirmed that a fee had been agreed with Sporting Lisbon pending a medical and personal terms, with the 24-year-old heading to England in the next 24 hours to conclude the formalities.

And last night a club insider said: “Rojo is only the start. There’s more big deals on the way. Van’s angry.”

The agreement means United have spent £46million on two left-backs this summer, with Luke Shaw arriving from Southampton for a record £30million for a teenager.

Sporting Lisbon announced the departure of their defender via their social media, although Rojo had earlier effectively confirmed that he was joining United in an interview with Argentine media.

United were prompted to make an announcement of their own, clarifying that the player had yet to put pen to paper, but it is clear his arrival is imminent.

As part of the deal, winger Nani is poised to return to Portugal, joining Lisbon on a season-long loan.

The transfer brings a conclusion to what threatened to become an unseemly saga when Sporting Lisbon, Rojo's representatives and third party owners became involved in a public dispute over who controlled the player's future.

Lisbon accused Doyen Sports of negotiating with United without permission, an allegation which was disputed, and terminated their relationship with the investment group.

Fortunately for United, the argument did not unduly prevent further negotiations.

In a display of transparency so often lacking with high-profile transfers these days, Sporting offered a thorough breakdown of the deal, stating that they will receive £8million immediately and a further two installments of £4million on December 1 this year and July 1 next year.

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