According to journalist Duncan Castles, Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo has rejected the chance to join Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai SIPG — a team currently managed by former England boss Sven-Göran Eriksson — in favour of an Old Trafford stay.
Castles, writing in the Daily Record, claims that Mourinho is “seriously concerned with the quality of defenders in the squad he inherited from Louis van Gaal,” and is listening to offers for both Rojo and Phil Jones. Hull City are reportedly interested in signing the latter on a season-long loan, though that deal has been called into question by the recent resignation of manager Steve Bruce.
Castles isn’t known to be the most reliable journalist around, though it’d be a surprise if he’d plucked such an obscure transfer rumour from thin air. But then again, he does go on to name Leonardo Bonucci, José Fonte and Ezequiel Garay as among United’s options for a “seasoned” centre-back, which can’t help but make his report seem a little more of a Football Manager fantasy.
As for the main story itself, I confess to having always been among the more sympathetic towards Rojo. But while there’s still reason to think he’s a perfectly serviceable backup, he’s unlikely to ever make it as a top defender; it can come as no surprise United are listening to offers. However, if he is to leave, it seems he’s not ready to move to China’s retirement home just yet. And, considering he’s still only 26, that’s fair enough.