Manchester United's Rojo pursuit takes fresh twist

Sporting, the defender's club, have hit out at the Doyen Sports Group over their role in negotiations, and insist they will not be manipulated into selling the player
By William Joyce

Manchester United's move for Marcos Rojo has taken a fresh twist following the continued fallout between the Argentina international's agents and his club Sporting.

United launched a €20 million bid for the defender this week, but saw that rejected by the Portuguese outfit.

That prompted Rojo to reportedly miss training on Wednesday in a bid to force the move, while his agents hit out at the club for reneging on an apparent verbal agreement to let the defender leave for less than his €30m release clause.

Doyen, Rojo's representatives, also warned in a statement that they would be due 75 per cent of any bid rejected by Sporting as part of their third-party ownership of the player.

But Sporting hit back on Thursday, releasing a statement of their own that declared they had "unilaterally rescinded all contracts with the Doyen Group", insisting that they would not be manipulated into selling their prize asset.

The statement reads: "It so happens that Sporting have flexed our muscles and will continue to protest against all those that, you [Doyen] in particular or football in general, prove as destabilising factors or manipulation."

In the statement, the Portuguese outfit also confirm they received a bid from a foreign club for Rojo on August 2 which was "flatly rejected".

This latest wrangle between Doyen and Sporting further complicates any potential deal for United, who may now have to offer a substantially larger amount than their initial €20m bid.

Goal understands the club would have to activate the player's €30m release clause - as Sporting see it - in order to bring him to Old Trafford.

And any deal for the player is highly unlikely to be concluded while the fierce dispute between club and agents continues.

United had hoped to capture the player, who has also long been interesting Southampton, in the coming week with manager Louis van Gaal desperate to strengthen his defensive options ahead of the season opener against Swansea on Saturday.

The club continue, though, to pursue deals for Netherlands defender Daley Blind and Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado from Ajax and Fiorentina respectively.