Manchester United are bracing themselves for an unexpected but welcome Argentinian bidding war for defender Marcos Rojo.
The 30-year-old completed a last-minute loan to his former side Estudiantes in January. He had been struggling again with injuries and had managed just nine games in the first half of the season.
The Red Devils have been willing to sell Rojo for some time and a move to Everton in the summer collapsed at the last minute. The club was therefore happy to sanction the six-month deal, negotiated with Estudiantes chairman and former Red Devil, Juan Sebastian Veron.
But the centre back had only managed to play one game before the coronavirus crisis forced football into lockdown.
Estudiantes and Rojo are keen to extend the deal for another six months despite a disciplinary issue when the 30-year-old was filmed smoking and playing cards with a group of men during lockdown.
However, the Red Devils would prefer to sell the Argentinian as his contract expires in June of next year. This means that the club’s only chance of recouping any transfer fee for him would be lost if he were under a loan contract during this summer’s transfer window.
And Estudiantes, who lie 13th in the Argentinian Superliga table, could be up against top club Boca Juniors in the race for his signature.
The Mirror reports that the Buenos Aires side are ‘exploring the possibility’ of signing Rojo after announcing that they will not be keeping Paraguayan centre back Junior Alonso when his loan deal expires at the end of next month. The outlet believes that the two clubs ‘will become embroiled in a £12 million bidding war for Marcos Rojo.’
Whilst the United man’s heart will be with his former club, based in La Plata, the short one hour hop down the road to Boca will be tempting, as it will offer him the chance to play in the Copa Libertadores and potentially the FIFA Club World Cup.
Whichever option he chooses, as he has not been included in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s provisional squad for the rest of this season, it seems unlikely that we will ever see Marcos Rojo in a Manchester United shirt again.
United might have to finish their Premier League season at neutral grounds as the authorities try to ensure player safety. How much do you know about those neither-home-nor-away games the Red Devils have played in the past? Take our quiz below to find out.