Manchester United are apparently hoping to start a bidding war between Argentinian clubs Boca Juniors and Estudiantes in order to sell £12 million rated defender Marcos Rojo, according to reports. The Argentinian left the club back in January on loan, spending the remainder of the season in his native Argentina playing for Estudiantes.
Rojo played just nine times for United this season, playing a total of 648 minutes of football in total. It was clear that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did not rate the player enough to play him regularly, seemingly ignoring the player for much of last season and a lot of the current season, then allowing him to leave the club in January.
United have some good defenders in the squad with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof the regular starters with Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe also chosen, although injuries to the pair have cost them valuable minutes on the pitch. Phil Jones is also at the club, he too playing football sparingly, perhaps not a player Solskjaer wants either.
This summer, it is important for United to continue clearing the players who are no longer needed at the club, which in my opinion, thinking of defenders, Rojo, Jones and even Chris Smalling, who is wanted by AS Roma, if they can do a deal to sign the former England defender. These three departures could give other players a chance at the club.
Tuanzebe deserves to play more football, providing his is fit and healthy. It has also been suggested that Teden Mengi, who is part of the clubs academy, could well rise into the first team at some point based on recent comments by U23 coach Neil Wood, who stated that Mengi could be the next young player to break into the first team.
It has been suggested that Boca Juniors have entered the race to sign Rojo this summer, with United seeking to offload the player they pay around £16 million for in the summer of 2014. The Argentinian’s contract at United is due to expire in the summer of 2021, giving him one more year at United, hence the interest in offloading him for money this year.
In some senses, it is a shame that Rojo is going to be sold. In terms of passion, he has it all and in ability and positioning, as he can play in the left-back position also and was intrinsic in that position when Luke Shaw suffered his horrifying double leg fracture a few years ago. It seems like a different time as Louis Van Gaal was the manager of the club then.
Rojo played a big part under Van Gaal, then in Jose Mourinho’s first season, played more times than he had in a season before at the club, then his appearances started to shorten as other players began to arrive at the club, lessening his grip on a first team place. Under Solskjaer, Rojo seemed to be out in the cold, which might have been unfortunate for him.
One thing is sure though, Solskjaer means business at the club and is seeking to bring back the glory days, which have not really been seen since Sir Alex Ferguson was stood on the touchline jeering his players on. In the long seven years since Ferguson retired, United has won two FA Community Shields, one EFL Cup (now the Carabao Cup) and the UEFA Europa League.