Premier League - Manchester United sign Rojo from Sporting Lisbon

Manchester United have signed Sporting Lisbon defender Marcos Rojo in a £16 million deal, the Portuguese club announced, with winger Nani moving in the opposite direction on a season-long loan.

Premier League - Rojo granted visa, available for United immediately

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Marcos Rojo (Getty)

Rojo, 24, starred for Argentina at the World Cup in Brazil as the South Americans reached the final before succumbing to Germany in extra time.

United's move for Rojo had been complicated by a row between Sporting and a third-party ownership group. That has now been resolved, with the Portuguese club receiving nine million euros, and the rest going to the third party as such multiple-ownership arrangements are banned in England.

Renowned as a tough, competitive defender who can play in the middle or on the left, Rojo is also something of a hot-head - as displayed when he went on strike after Sporting rejected United's initial bid. He later apologised.


But he is the ideal signing for United at the moment, with new boss Louis van Gaal keen on playing a three-man central defence, and short of cover at left wingback.

Before the deal was agreed, former Estudiantes and Spartak Moscow star Rojo told Argentina radio station Continental: "It's a dream to play at Manchester United and I am very proud of having the chance of working with [Louis] van Gaal.

"I spoke with Juan Sebastian Veron about Manchester United when we were at Estudiantes. I have always liked English football, and I should adapt to this new playing style easily."

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Marcos Rojo

Nani, meanwhile, has spent seven years at Old Trafford after joining from Sporting for £18m, scoring 40 goals in more than 200 matches. A regular for five seasons, he has struggled to make the first team in the past few years.

In spite of this, the 27-year-old was given a five-year contract last season. It seems his time at United is already up.

Tweets published through the Primeira Liga club's official account welcomed Nani to the Estadio Jose Alvalade while announcing United had also given Sporting nine million euros to help construct their new indoor arena, the Pavilhao, in exchange for securing Rojo's services.

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