Manchester United are closing in on Sporting Lisbon defender Marcos Rojo, as Louis Van Gaal looks to have finally moved closer to clinch one of the signings he so desperately wants.
The Argentine defender emerged as a surprise target for United last week, after the club missed out on Thomas Vermaelen, who left Arsenal to join Barcelona, and were told to forget about signing Mats Hummels, who will remain at Borussia Dortmund for another season at least.
Louis Van Gaal admitted Manchester United need more signings and revealed the team’s confidence was shattered by defeat in their opening game of the season against Swansea.
The Dutchman’s first Premier League game ended in a 2-1 defeat, with United showing all the familiar issues that had emerged last season, while a lack of signings and injuries forced Van Gaal’s hand into deploying players out of position, resulting in a lacklustre performance and a horrible start to the season.
Paul Scholes has described Louis Van Gaal as a “mad genius” and has claimed Manchester United will not win the league this season, as they haven’t strengthened their squad enough, compared to what their Premier League rivals have done.
The former United midfield maestro is confident the club have got the right man to steady the ship after a disastrous 12 months and towards a top four finish, but Scholes insists a title challenge is beyond the current squad’s capabilities, as they lack quality in midfield, despite the arrival of Ander Herrera.
Manchester United are hopeful to sign Argentina defender Marcos Rojo, as Louis Van Gaal seeks to address his shortage of options in defence.
The Sporting Lisbon defender could cost United around £16m and United don’t consider his contract to be too much of a problem, even though, as it’s common practice in Portuguese football, it might involve third parties.
Louis Van Gaal has reiterated he’s unhappy with his current squad and has insisted Manchester United need to buy a world class winger this summer if they’re serious about returning to the levels expected of them.
United’s summer started in style with the arrivals of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera but with just a week left until the start of the season the squad at Van Gaal’s disposal remains unbalanced and short of options, despite Ed Woodward’s bullish claims that United “had not budget” and could financially compete with the biggest teams in the world.
Tom Cleverley has vowed to prove his critics wrong this season, as he seeks to establish himself as a regular in Louis Van Gaal’s formation, after a troublesome campaign that saw him become a pantomime villain for the United supporters.
Cleverley’s dismal performances attracted strong criticism from section of United fans last season, while some England supporters went as far as setting up an online petition to prevent the 24-year-old from being selected in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad. Cleverley, however, has looked a better player under Van Gaal during United’s pre-season tour and is determined to silence the critics this season.
Manchester United are set to bid £12m for Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen after receiving the green light from Arsene Wenger, as the Arsenal manager admitted the Belgian could leave the Emirates between now and the end of the transfer window.
The Guardian reports that United are ready to open negotiations with Arsenal for a player considered to be one Louis Van Gaal’s main targets of the summer, but they’ll face stiff competition from Barcelona, who could have a slight advantage in the race to sign the Belgian, given Arsenal would prefer selling Vermaelen abroad than to a direct rival.
Marouane Fellaini is a wanted man these days, despite a horrible first season at Manchester United, and a couple of Serie A clubs are interested in offering the Belgian a way out of Old Trafford.
According to Belgian radio station RTL, Napoli have been keeping an eye on Fellaini but are reluctant to sign on a permanent basis and would prefer a loan deal, while United are thought to be demanding a fee of £15 for the midfielder, who doesn’t feature in Louis Van Gaal’s plans.