Marcos Rojo would appear set to become the third notable acquisition by Manchester United during this transfer window, with the Argentina international himself confirming that a move from Sporting is imminent.
Third summer signing
Manchester United signed both Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw in the opening week of the transfer period at a combined cost of around £60 million, and the arrival of Rojo will add £16 million to this total with two weeks to go until the deadline.
This is a fee still to be finalised, although it is expected that the versatile defender will arrive at Old Trafford for this figure plus Luis Nani returning to his former club on loan for the remainder of the season.
Rojo missed an open training session in Lisbon this afternoon as the proposed deal accelerates. The specifics continue to be discussed, but a four-year deal will be agreed unless there are any unexpected last minute hiccups.
The 24-year-old’s head is already in Manchester, understandably so, and with the switch supposedly imminent his Sporting teammates are expressing their best wishes to Rojo as he heads towards his new club.
Valentin Viola posted an Instagram picture of himself and Rojo together on Tuesday to offer his congratulations to the defender on this high-profile transfer.
“Felicitaciones amiguin por tu pase, te lo mereces,” said the message to accompany the picture. Or, roughly translated: “Congratulations my friend for your move, you deserve it.”
Watch: Manchester United transfer update
More signings imperative
Rojo’s arrival has been a long time coming with Manchester United having last completed a signing 40 days ago, with both Herrera and Shaw officially joining on July 1, but only his acquisition will not placate supporters.
The club have been linked with numerous elite players over the summer months and, although Rojo does not fall into this category, he is a signing at least. Goodness knows the wait has been long enough.
But there will still be questions to be answered as to why it has taken such a lengthy period to recruit a central defender - something that was outlined as a priority following the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
Louis van Gaal could do with another before the deadline, plus a midfielder and a winger, and it will be interesting indeed to watch how things progress over the next fortnight.