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.
Van Gaal is said to be particularly upset about the defensive frailties United showed against Swansea on Saturday and has stepped up his interest for Rojo, who was named in the team of the tournament at the World Cup earlier this summer, and who would cost United around £16m.
The Argentine, who can play either as centre-back or left-back, issued an apology to his club and the fans after he refused to train in what seemed a blatant attempt to engineer a move away from Sporting.
“I was hot-headed and I’m sorry,” said Rojo, who resumed training yesterday.
“Sporting signed me when I was not at my best and gave me the opportunity to play for a big club in Europe. I would like to thank the trust they had in me and resume training.”
The best part of the deal as far as United are concerned, however, is that, according to the Mirror, the club are planning to include Nani in the package they’ll offer to Sporting Lisbon, meaning United could at long last getting rid of the Portuguese.
In his seven seasons at Old Trafford Nani has only shown flashes of his talent but his career has been in almost constant decline since the 2010-11 season and despite signing a new five-year deal last summer, he clearly doesn’t feature in Van Gaal’s plans and one feels the United manager brought him on on Saturday simply due to the lack of alternatives.
United desperately need a centre-back and Nani has been surplus to requirements for some time. For once, United could be winning on both fronts.