Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo has already been told that he can find a new club, but the 26-year-old has reportedly turned down a lucrative move to China. It will further complicate Jose Mourinho’s efforts to rebuild his Manchester United defence.
According to a report from Daily Star, the Argentine snubbed an offer from Chinese Super League heavyweights Shanghai SIPG.
Shanghai SIPG – coached by former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson – moved to add the Argentine to a squad that already includes Brazil striker Hulk, but Rojo doesn’t want to swap the Premier League for Asian football.
Mourinho wants another defender to join his signing Eric Bailly in defence at Old Trafford, and is willing to sacrifice Rojo to raise funds for this particular endeavour.
Seriously concerned with the quality of defenders in the squad he inherited from Louis van Gaal, Mourinho is keen to add an experienced central defender and may also strengthen at right back.
But for that, he must reduce the number of senior players at the club before spending in the transfer market again.
Rojo, deployed by Van Gaal at left and centre back, has been made up for grab alongside utility player Daley Blind.
Guillermo Varela has already joined Eintracht Frankfurt for a season, with fellow youngsters Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Paddy McNair also to be loaned out.
United informed Rojo that he could find himself another club just after Mourinho’s appointment, telling the 26-year-old’s representatives that they would accept an offer in the region of €12million for the player.
China’s readiness to pay above market value for footballers while trebling their salaries seemed the best chance of minimising the club’s financial loss on the Argentine.
The EPL giants signed Rojo out of a complicated third-party ownership contract on Van Gaal’s instruction after he caught the Dutchman’s attention with his performances for Argentina at the 2014 World Cup.
The deal involved a transfer fee to Sporting of €20million plus the subsidised season loan of Nani to the Portuguese club. Rojo, however, soon fell out with Van Gaal, making just 35 Premier League starts in two seasons working under him.
Mourinho has made one addition to his rearguard to date, signing Ivory Coast international Eric Bailly for an initial €35m with the aim of developing the 22-year-old into a top central defender.
His options for a more seasoned defensive recruit include Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci, Southampton’s Jose Fonte and Ezequiel Garay at Zenit St Petersburg.