Manchester United have been given the green light to complete their deal for Marco Rojo, as the 24-year-old has officially handed in a transfer request to Sporting Lisbon.
Throughout today the situation has constantly changed regarding reports claiming that United had firmed up their interest with a £16 million offer in the Argentina international, but the Daily Express is now stating that the player himself has begged his club to let him move to Old Trafford.
It’s thought that Rojo is keen to further his ambitions by making a switch to the Premier League, and joining Louis van Gaal’s revolution in Manchester would give him the opportunity to do just that. Of course the idea of the defender having formally requested the move is not only a blow to Sporting, but also to Liverpool, as Brendan Rodgers has long been linked with an offer of his own.
Coming off the back of an eye-catching World Cup, Rojo seems to be the flavour of the month when it comes to the transfer rumour mill. Yet, whilst so many defenders have found themselves doggedly linked with being in Van Gaal’s plans for the future, it’s been said that an official bid has already been submitted, and so things appear to be moving quickly.
The report in the Express goes on to claim that United would need to bump up their proposal to around £17 million, but that shouldn’t pose too much of a problem given the numerous boasts the Red Devils have made about flexing their financial might in order to ensure improvement.
It’s said Van Gaal is most drawn to the Sporting ace due to his ability to play virtually anywhere across the back-line. At the moment Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling are his options with regards to the centre of defence, but with the Dutchman planning to use the 3-5-2 formation he showcased with the Netherlands at the World Cup, that simply isn’t enough.
Rojo has proven himself a dominant figure in the heart of the defence, which would tick that specific box, but he can also play as a left-sided full-back, as was evidenced in Brazil. This would mean that Luke Shaw would have both competition and a back-up if needed, essentially nullifying the need for Van Gaal to splash out on a replacement for Patrice Evra.
Is Rojo the answer?
Naturally United fans will question Rojo’s lack of pedigree at the highest level, and on face value he doesn’t have nearly the same amount of experience that the club’s recent defensive targets - namely Mats Hummels, Thomas Vermaelen and Mehdi Benatia - boast. However he would be another reputable addition to the squad, and Van Gaal will be aware that he will be dealing Liverpool a blow if he pushes ahead with the transfer.