Manchester United sign Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon
Nani returns to former club on a season-long loan as part of deal
Argentina defender Marcos Rojo has suggested his move to Manchester United is imminent, describing it as a ‘dream’ to play for the Old Trafford club. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.
Sporting Lisbon have sanctioned the sale of Marcos Rojo to Manchester United with winger Nani returning to Portugal as part of the deal.
Argentina international Rojo, 24, on Tuesday morning hinted he was poised to move to Old Trafford and become part of Louis van Gaal’s squad, and the Portuguese club have now confirmed his departure.
Tweets published through the Primeira Liga club’s official account welcomed Nani to the Estadio Jose Alvalade while announcing United had also given Sporting €9 million to help construct their new indoor arena, the Pavilhao, in exchange for securing Rojo’s services.
The 27-year-old Nani, who moved to Manchester in 2007, is understood to have joined the Lions on a season-long loan, but neither United nor Sporting have confirmed the details.
Rojo is equally comfortable at centre back as he is at left back and played all 120 minutes of July’s World Cup final as Argentina lost to Germany after extra-time in Rio de Janeiro.
In an interview with the radio station Continental in his homeland, quoted in several national newspapers, he said: “It’s a dream to play at Manchester United and I am very proud of having the chance of working with (Louis) Van Gaal.
“I spoke with Juan Sebastian Veron about Manchester United when we were at Estudiantes. I have always liked English football, and I should adapt to this new playing style easily.”
United’s move for Rojo had been complicated by a row between Sporting and his a third-party ownership group, while the player upset his employers by initially refusing to train in a bid to push through the deal, although he later apologised and returned to work.
“There was a misunderstanding, I never wanted to do something wrong at Sporting as I have always been very thankful to that team that gave me many chances for playing in Europe, ” Rojo said.
“If I made a mistake, I have already apologised because I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of anyone at the club.”
Tweets from United’s official account published later on Tuesday read: “#mufc has reached agreement with Sporting Lisbon to sign defender Marcos Rojo, subject to a medical and personal terms.
“A further announcement will be made when the process is complete.”