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Marcus Rojo officially signs for Manchester United in $26.5 million deal

Aug 20, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT

Source: Manchester United Source: Manchester United

Argentine international defender Marcus Rojo has completed his move to Manchester United.

Following a summer long transfer saga after his impressive displays at the 2014 World Cup, Rojo, 24, has signed for United from Sporting Lisbon on a five-year deal.

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The defender joined Sporting from Spartak Moscow in 2012 and also played for Estudiantes in Argentina before heading to Europe.

With United short on options in central defense since losing veterans Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand this summer, Rojo’s addition is key as Louis van Gaal’s continues his rebuild. So far this summer transfer activity has been slow for the team who finished seventh in the PL last season, with only Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera arriving at the club.

Speaking to the club website, United’s manager had the following to say about Rojo.

“Marcos is a very gifted defender,” van Gaal said. “He has played at the highest level in world football and can play either as a central defender or left-back. He has ability, physical strength and a willingness to learn that means he has a very bright future ahead of him. He had a very strong World Cup and has been playing in Europe for a couple of years now. He is a very good addition to the team.”

Rojo played in all six of Argentina’s games at the World Cup as the South American’s lost to Germany in the final after extra time. His strength in the air, speed and quality distribution led to a number of teams enquriing about his services but United have snapped him up after a challenging pursuit. Rojo threw his toys out of the pram as Sporting dug their heels in on the transfer fee and he refused to play for the Portuguese club. He has since apologized for that outburst.

At United he will compete with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Johnny Evans for one of the three central defense positions in van Gaal’s preferred 3-5-2 formation.

With less than two weeks to go until the summer transfer window slams shut, United will be hoping a few more players follow Rojo through the entrance at Old Trafford as van Gaal’s rebuilding work continues.

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