Following a World Cup performance which earned him a place in the Castrol Index All Star Dream Team for Brazil 2014, Marcos Rojo has been subject to an intense summer of speculation and controversy.
The Argentinian defender has been playing his football in the Portuguese League for Sporting CP since 2012, and with 49 appearances for the iconic Portuguese side, he looks set on a move away from the Estadio Jose Alvalade in the coming hours.
Rojo has endured a turbulent career since his move from boyhood club Estudiantes LP, an Argentinian first division side, to Spartak Moscow of the Russian Premier League back in 2010. Rojo found it difficult to acclimatise to Russian football and featured only eight times for Spartak within the first year of his five-year contract.
With it clear that his home was not in Russia, Rojo moved to Lisbon to play for Sporting CP. The £3.5million, four year transfer, was a huge turning point in the Argentinian’s career amidst fears that he would simply fade into the background if he had pursued a career in Russia.
Upon becoming a Sporting CP player, Rojo became one of the most coveted defenders in the league and his versatility and ability to play anywhere across the left-side of the pitch made him a target for many European clubs and helped him force his way into the Argentina World Cup squad.
Making 15 interceptions, winning 17 tackles and completing a staggering 191 passes and scoring a vital goal against Nigeria in the final group game en route to the final, Rojo then played every minute of the 120 of his country’s eventual defeat to Germany and was subsequently named in the team of the tournament, and in the process became a prominent target for some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Who’s Interested? Manchester United
Marcos Rojo has been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford since he returned from Brazil and has even caused controversy in trying to force a move to The Theatre of Dreams.
With Louis Van Gaal looking to bring Rojo into his new look Manchester United side and the Argentinean hoping for the move of his dreams, Sporting have claimed that the defender has refused to train in an attempt to finalise the deal.
Rojo seems a perfect match for Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United squad. The Dutch manager’s implementation of a back three with right and left wing-backs would be ideal for Marcos has played as a left-sided center-back, left-back and left-winger.
With the recent losses of defensive legends Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra as well as an opening day defeat to Swansea City, it would seem that defence is top of the Red Devils’ list of areas to improve, and with a reported deal worth £16million near complete, Manchester United fans can start to look forward to a new star of defence in Marcos Rojo.
The deal will reportedly see Nani move in the opposite direction, returning the club he left seven years ago, which will no doubt add further satisfaction for United fans who have grown frustrated to the point of disinterest with the once hotly tipped Portuguese attacker.
Words by Ben Fawcett