Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Marcos Rojo, who is believed to have cost the Premier League giants a fee of £16million.
It is certainly no surprise that the Reds have been in the market for at least one top defender for much of the summer, and they have already missed out on Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen who signed for Barcelona earlier this month. And Mats Hummels, the German international, appears off limits at Borussia Dortmund.
Speculation linking United with Argentina international Rojo had been growing in recent days, and last week the 24-year-old refused to train with his Sporting Lisbon team-mates in a bid to push through a transfer. This is something he has since apologised for, and this has helped him seal his dream transfer to Manchester.
The 20-time league champions have now confirmed they have completed a deal for the left-sided central defender, who can also play at fullback, for a fee believed to be in the region of £16million, with Nani heading the other way for a season-long loan. Rojo has signed a five-year deal with the club, and will wear the number 5 shirt which was vacated when Rio Ferdinand left at the end of his contract this summer.
“It is such an honour to say that I now play for Manchester United,” Rojo told the official club website. “The Premier League is the most exciting league in the world and to have the chance to play in it for the world’s biggest club is a dream for me. I am very keen to continue to learn the game, so playing for such an experienced coach as Louis van Gaal is a fantastic opportunity for me. I have joined United to work hard with my team-mates to win trophies and I know that the manager shares that ambition.”
United started their Premier League campaign with a 2-1 home defeat to Swansea City, and they will be desperate to get some points on the board when they travel to Sunderland this weekend. Rojo has every chance of being involved in van Gaal’s three-man central defence, and the Dutch coach is pleased to have him as an option.
“Marcos is a very gifted defender,” he also told the club website. “He has played at the highest level in world football and can play either as a central defender or left-back. He has ability, physical strength and a willingness to learn that means he has a very bright future ahead of him. He had a very strong World Cup and has been playing in Europe for a couple of years now. He is a very good addition to the team.”
Rojo played six times for Argentina as they reached the World Cup final this summer, where they lost to Germany, and has 28 caps in total.
Nani, meanwhile, returns to the club he left for United in the summer of 2007. Although the Portugal international has largely frustrated in England, particularly in recent years, he has helped the Reds to four Premier League titles, a League Cup and, in 2008, he scored in the penalty shootout UEFA Champions League final win against Chelsea.