Manchester United's £200,000-a-week star Marcos Rojo has been named as the player behind an attempt to entrap a woman with the promise of £100,000 in cash, reports The Mail on Sunday.
Sarah Watson, a 34-year-old fitness instructor, did not know what she was getting into when she had a one night stand with the Argentine defender. It lead her to a secret meeting with Rojo's representatives and ended with a £35,000 legal bill.
Rojo, who is married with one child, is alleged to have had relations with Ms Watson in December after meeting her in swanky club. After the tabloid newspaper was tipped off, she was offered £35,000 to sell the story.
The player's representatives, who reportedly met with Manchester United officials to discuss the best course of action, responded with the offer of £100,000. However, the offer was just a ruse to play her off as a scheming blackmailer.
"People who look after Marcos claimed I had demanded £100,000 to keep quiet about our encounter," she said in the report. "But it was a lie and they knew it. They tried to trap me."
After accepting the offer, Ms Watson was confronted by a man at her door who threatened her with jail for blackmail unless she signed a gagging order. Out of fear, she signed it, but only then decided to take them to court.
She says: "Early in the morning a guy came to the door... he threatened me with arrest in an hour unless I signed.
"I’ve heard about girls getting two or three years in prison so I said 'I’ve not tried to blackmail anyone.' "
"That’s when I decided to fight it. They were trying to frighten me. They said I’d be liable to £35,000 in court costs. I feel like they’ve bullied me."
After finding a lawyer to take it to court, it was eventually ruled by Mr Justice Warby to overturn the gagging order and that Rojo should cover Ms Watson's legal costs.
The blackmail allegation was thrown out and Rojo's identity was allowed to be revealed because "there is likely to be speculation about the identity of the unnamed footballer. Others may unjustly be brought under suspicion."
Rojo's attempts to appeal the decision was also thrown out as it had an unrealistic chance of being overturned.