Marcos Rojo Saga Shows Difficulties in Manchester United's Transfer Hopes

Rob DawsonManchester United CorrespondentAugust 15, 2014

Argentina's Marcos Rojo celebrates after Argentina defeated the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout after a 0-0 tie after extra time to advance to the finals during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

You might not know it given the mood around Old Trafford, but Manchester United have been active in this summer's transfer market.

They've spent nearly £60 million on Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw. The only problem is the fans expected more.

Football fans don't forget. They remember the high hopes they had last summer, only to end up with Marouane Fellaini after a deadline-day scramble.

As the September 1 deadline approaches this summer, the mood is similar. And with each day that passes with no new arrivals, the panic begins to set in.

No news is not good news.

Uncredited/Associated Press

Even with Shaw and Herrera on board, United are still short in key areas. They need a centre-back and central midfielder. It's the minimum requirement. The supporters are still hoping for a big name, as well. 

Marcos Rojo, who can play at centre-half and at left-back, would add strength in depth at the back. 

But with a little over two weeks to go before the deadline, the last thing United need is to get involved in a protracted transfer saga.

And the bitter row developing between Rojo's club, Sporting Lisbon, and management company Doyen Sports is not conducive to a quick deal.

Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

The transfer window is not a simple business. It's not enough to identify a player who will improve your squad.

Concluding a deal depends on both clubs and the player coming to an agreement. It's a complicated process.

With 16 days before the window shuts, United are in the dangerous situation of needing both numbers and quality. 

Louis van Gaal has played with three centre-halves throughout pre-season. But he only has three first-team centre-backs in his squad—Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.

Evans is already an injury doubt for the first game of the season against Swansea City on Saturday. If he doesn't recover in time, 20-year-old Tyler Blackett could make his first competitive appearance.

Themba Hadebe/Associated Press

It's not what United fans were expecting when they waved goodbye to Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic at the end of the season.

A lot can happen in the final few days of the transfer window. And it would be unfair to judge United's summer business until September 2.

But the complications surrounding Rojo's move have only served to remind United fans that new faces are not guaranteed. 

Even if the desire is there to get them.