Rojo becomes a Red Devil

first_img Press Association Rojo is equally comfortable at centre-back as he is at left-back and played all 120 minutes of July’s World Cup final as Argentina lost to Germany after extra-time in Rio de Janeiro. The 24-year-old began his career in his homeland with Estudiantes de la Plata and spent a single season with Spartak Moscow before moving to Sporting in 2012. He also has 28 caps for his country and cannot wait to play his part in Louis van Gaal’s new era at United. “It is such an honour to say that I now play for Manchester United,” he said. “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.” Rojo joins Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw as Van Gaal’s third high-profile signing since taking over earlier in the summer and the Dutchman believes he will be a useful addition as the former Bayern Munich boss implements a new 3-5-2 formation at Old Trafford this term. “Marcos is a very gifted defender,” he said. “He has played at the highest level in world football and can play either as a central defender or left-back. The Argentina international will cost United £15.98million and moves to Old Trafford on a five-year deal. “Manchester United is delighted to announce the signing of defender Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon for a fee of 20million euros, with Nani joining the Portuguese club on a season-long loan,” read a statement from United. “Marcos joins on a five-year contract.” Manchester United have completed the signing of defender Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon with winger Nani heading in the opposite direction on a season-long loan. “He has ability, physical strength and a willingness to learn that means he has a very bright future ahead of him. “He had a very strong World Cup and has been playing in Europe for a couple of years now. He is a very good addition to the team.” United lost centre-backs Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic alongside left-back Patrice Evra this summer and Rojo will add to a defensive unit which was largely criticised following the defeat to Swansea at the weekend. The move for Rojo had been complicated by a row between Sporting and a third-party ownership group, while the player upset his employers by initially refusing to train in a bid to push through the deal, although he later apologised and returned to work. The 27-year-old Nani, who moved to Manchester seven years ago, previously spent four years as a Sporting player after leaving Real Massama in 2003. He has made 228 appearances in all competitions for United, scoring 40 goals, but has rarely been a regular starter during his time in the Barclays Premier League. Meanwhile, United have dismissed reports linking them to unsuccessful bids for Thomas Muller and Marco Reus. The club insist rumours of failed moves for the German pair are untrue, with a United spokesman telling Press Association Sport: “It is not true that we made offers for Muller or Reus at any stage.” Marouane Fellaini looked set to be making a move out of the north west but that may now have been scuppered with the Belgian sustaining an injury in training. United have not commented on the extent of the injury, but pictures in The Sun showed the 26-year-old on crutches with his left foot in a protective cast. Fellaini had been expected to tie up a loan move to Serie A club Napoli before the end of the transfer window and that move is clearly now in doubt. last_img read more

Pellegrini: Hart is working hard

first_img Pellegrini stressed he wants Milner to stay at the Etihad Stadium but he admitted the final decision rests with the player himself. “It’s a decision James must take at the end of season, what is better for his future,” Pellegrini said. “I always talk that he is an important player for our team, he can play in different positions because he is an intelligent player. “He always gives 100 per cent but it will be sorted at the end of the season. “I can think (staying at Manchester City) is best him for him but it’s important what he thinks.” Asked if he wanted to keep Milner, Pellegrini replied: “Yes, of course. He is a very important player for us.” Swansea’s defeat ended their hopes of qualifying for the Europa League as Garry Monk’s men will now definitely finish eighth. But manager Monk said missing out on Europe should take nothing away from a campaign which has seen Swansea record their highest-ever Premier League finish and their greatest points tally. “I think we’ve shown quite clearly with the run of form we’ve been on that we wanted to get into Europe,” Monk said. “We pushed all the way to try to get there and it would have been a great reward for the season we’ve had. “But hopefully now we have a chance to recruit properly and try to surpass what we have done this year in the Premier League, although we know it will be tough.” Swansea were criticised by Arsene Wenger for what the Arsenal manager perceived as negative tactics in the Welsh club’s 1-0 smash-and-grab victory at the Emirates Stadium. But Monk said the performance showed that Swansea could take on the best in an attacking contest. “We got criticised last Monday for apparently not playing football, and I wanted the players to show we can go toe-to-toe with one of the top sides when we choose to,” Monk said. “I think we proved we can do that. Yes we lost the game, but if we had taken one or two chances, or Joe Hart had not made some incredible saves, we could have got something from the game. “We didn’t quite get a result, but I think we have shown what a strong group we’ve got and hopefully next season we can be even better.” Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insisted Joe Hart must keep improving if he is to become the best goalkeeper in the world. “It was a beautiful save in a very important moment,” Pellegrini said after his side had tightened their grip on second spot with a fifth consecutive league victory. “Joe is the number one goalkeeper in England and I think he has improved a lot this season. “Bringing Willy Caballero was good for him, giving him good competition and also working with the goalkeeping coach Xabier Mancisidor. “It’s important for him but he most important thing is he has an open mind. “He is only 28 years old and he must improve in a lot of things, but he is working hard to do it. “It is difficult for a young goalkeeper to be so good at the start of his career and it is difficult to compare him with all the other goalkeepers here. “There are three or four good goalkeepers in this league, but Joe must improve and not think he knows every thing at this moment. Every day he works hard.” James Milner scored City’s second goal and gave another performance full of endeavour and commitment, even though he is out of contract at the end of the season and he may move on this summer. Hart produced possibly the save of the season in City’s 4-2 Barclays Premier League win at Swansea, his flying one-handed stop preventing Federico Fernandez’s 82nd-minute header from making it 3-3. The England goalkeeper made another point-blank save from Bafetimbi Gomis two minutes later before Swansea old boy Wilfried Bony, on as a late substitute, settled matters in injury time with only his second City goal. Press Associationlast_img read more