Aug 18, 2014, 2:25 PM EST
Various reports around Argentina say United will pay Rojo’s Portuguese club Sporting CP $26 million for the defender, with Nani going on a season-long loan in the other direction.
Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio confirmed the reports.
It’s a good sign for Manchester United to finally have gotten a defender – especially a left-sided central defender – considering how their transfer dealings thus far this summer have largely been in vain.
Earlier in the day, a report in The Guardian said the transfer dealing for Rojo was “very complex” but it seems things have worked out, and Rojo has signed his contract in England.
Nani played for Sporting CP for two seasons in his home country of Portugal before moving to Old Trafford in 2007.
The deal for Rojo is a good start, but if their match against Swansea foreshadowed anything, it’s that the trio of Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, and Phil Jones (or young rookie Tyler Blackett) won’t be the men to lead the Red Devils back to the Champions League.
For manager Louis van Gaal, he finally has at least the one left-footed defender he was searching for, as the aforementioned trio are all right-foot dominant. The Dutchman has installed his three-at-the-back system at Old Trafford, but admitted the other day he needs “better players” to execute it properly.
With the capture of Rojo, it remains to be seen if rumored deals for AC Milan defender Philippe Mexes and/or Roma’s Mehdi Benatia will still go through. Many have reported the initial rumors for Mexes were untrue, and Roma manager Raul Garcia has said no bids have yet been submitted for the highly-rated Benatia.
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