Updates from Thursday, Sept. 4
Marcos Rojo is finally set to make his Manchester United debut after it was reported that he has been granted a work permit.
United announced when Rojo would be available to play:
Christian Martin of Fox Sports first provided the update:
Marcos Rojo has finalised his paperwork and travelled to Lisbon to collect his work permit. He'll be in Manchester later today— Christian Martin (@askomartin) September 4, 2014
Updates from Saturday, Aug. 30
Manchester United provide an update on Marcos Rojo's status:
Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail provides insight on Rojo's inability to debut for Manchester United:
There has been speculation that Rojo has run in to problems over third party ownership – he was part owned by an agency when playing in Portugal – or that he hadn't played enough competitive games for his country to qualify for a work permit.
However it is understood that the actual issue is that Rojo is waiting to see if he will be given a UK visa as embassy officials look in to the details of an altercation with a neighbour in Argentina in 2010 that still lies on his file in his home country.
The 24-year-old was never prosecuted over the incident but it is still theoretically being investigated after the case was reopened in May of this year.
Rojo does not have a criminal record but it is likely that Embassy officials are checking the exact details of the situation before processing the visa.
Updates from Thursday, Aug. 28
Marcos Rojo's frustrating wait for his Manchester United debut may extend into the international break, according to Laurie Whitwell of the Mail Online.
Rojo is awaiting work permit clearance, but is also being kept waiting by the Premier League ahead of Saturday's trip to Burnley, as explained by Whitwell:
Louis van Gaal’s defensive concerns could deepen after it emerged that the Premier League are yet to sign off on Marcos Rojo’s transfer, partly because of Sporting Lisbon’s involvement with funding group Doyen.
[...] It had been thought that obtaining a work permit was the only delay in his registration being ratified but Sportsmail understands that the Premier League are still processing the paperwork associated with Doyen’s claim to 75 per cent of the transfer fee.
The delay would need to be overcome by 12pm on Friday if Rojo is to be eligible for the important encounter with Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon.
Updates from Monday, Aug. 25
Mark Ogden of The Telegraph reports the latest on Rojo's eligibility to play for United:
Marcos Rojo will miss out on a Manchester United debut against MK Dons on Tuesday due to ongoing delays in securing a work permit for the Argentina defender.
With manager Louis van Gaal planning to make wholesale changes for the Capital One Cup second round tie at stadium:mk, Rojo had been expected to face the League One outfit after missing the 1-1 draw at Sunderland as a result of the club’s inability to gain a permit for the 24-year-old, who completed a £16m transfer from Sporting Lisbon last Tuesday.
But senior figures at United have confirmed today that Rojo will not be available for the fixture and is now waiting for his application to be rubber-stamped in time for the Premier League trip to Burnley on Saturday.
Updates from Friday, Aug. 22
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says that Rojo won't be eligible to play in United's match on Sunday:
Marcos Rojo is not eligible to play this Sunday vs Sunderland. Van Gaal tells #MUTV he still needs a work permit.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 22, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 20
Manchester United announced that Rojo was officially a Red Devil on Twitter on Wednesday:
Rojo also commented on his move to Manchester (via Ben Burrows of The Daily Mirror):
The Argentine said: 'It is such an honour to say that I now play for Manchester United. The Premier League is the most exciting league in the world and to have the chance to play in it for the world's biggest club is a dream for me.'
'I am young and am very keen to continue to learn the game, so playing for such an experienced technical coach as Louis van Gaal is a fantastic opportunity for me. I have joined United to work hard with my team-mates to win trophies and I know that the manager shares that ambition.'
Earlier, Rojo arrived in Manchester to complete his move from Sporting Lisbon to United.
Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail provides the latest:
Rojo, who touched down in Manchester on Tuesday evening and said joining United ‘feels like a dream’, is set to sign a four-year contract after passing a medical and agreeing personal terms.
The versatile defender earlier posted the following picture on his official Instagram account during his flight to Manchester:
Manchester United have made a move to improve their shaky defence by adding Marcos Rojo from Sporting.
The Red Devils' official Twitter passed along news of the deal:
#mufc has reached agreement with Sporting Lisbon to sign defender Marcos Rojo, subject to a medical and personal terms.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 19, 2014
United winger Nani will be loaned to Sporting as part of the transfer, according to the Daily Mail:
Nani joins Sporting Lisbon, and the club confirm Rojo's going the other way pic.twitter.com/N1uOA4M7m4— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) August 19, 2014
From the fee they receive for Marcos Rojo, Sporting Lisbon say they're going to spend £7.2m of it on their Pavilion #mufc— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) August 19, 2014
Freelance football writer Jan Hagen added the following details:
Man United will pay Sporting in 3 installments for Rojo. Sporting entitled to 20% of the fee if Man United sell Rojo for more than €23m.— Jan Hagen (@PortuBall) August 19, 2014
The 24-year-old player is coming off a strong season in Portugal, starting 24 matches while also showcasing his attacking skill with four league goals. His efforts were a big reason Sporting were able to finish in second place in the table behind only Benfica.
Rojo was also impressive with Argentina at the 2014 World Cup, starting at left-back while helping his side go all the way to the final before losing to Germany. As a team, Argentina only conceded four goals in the tournament, including just one in four knockout-stage matches.
WhoScored.com noted how well the defender played in his time on the pitch:
GRAPHIC: Marcos Rojo - World Cup 2014 statistics pic.twitter.com/D73mkPZL3N— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 15, 2014
After the World Cup ended, Rojo refused to train with Sporting in an attempt to force a transfer. Although, he eventually returned and apologised, via the club's official site:
It was a miss understanding [sic] and I was hot headed. I regret what happened, because I feel like I didn’t act professionally. Now I am going to try and fix the situation. It is all a lie and I was annoyed by how things were just made up. We have spoken, we have understood each other and I am back in training at the Academy. I didn’t conduct myself well because I was hot headed, but I really like the Club and all of my teammates.
This return did not last long, though, as Rojo is now on his way to Old Trafford. There was some holdup with Doyen Sports controlling a 75 percent stake in the player, but the transfer eventually went through.
After losing their opening league match against Swansea, United were desperate to make some changes to the squad. Manager Louis van Gaal will now have a versatile defender who has spent time at centre-back but is also adept as a full-back who can move forward and help the attack.
With Van Gaal willing to vary formations based on personnel, this type of addition could end up being extremely valuable. No matter where he plays, he will almost certainly make an immediate impact for a club looking to make up for a miserable 2013-14 season.
Rojo is still improving as a player, and this move will give him a legitimate chance to reach his potential and become one of the top defenders in Europe.
Meanwhile, Sporting Lisbon will have a difficult time replacing a key performer as they attempt to contend not only for position in the league but also in the Champions League.
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