Marcos Rojo has confirmed that Manchester United blocked the Argentine central defender from moving to Everton in the summer, as told to Ole.
The Toffees were linked with a move for Rojo late into the recent transfer market (Daily Mail) after failing in their efforts to retain Kurt Zouma following his loan spell from Chelsea and seeing a temporary bid for Chris Smalling rejected.
Everton were alleged to have enquired about a potential loan deal for Rojo in the days preceding Deadline Day as the Blues were, and still are, short on cover in central defence, with Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate the only senior options for manager Marco Silva.
Rojo’s injury record over the past few years was a concern for the Toffees, however, as the 29-year-old only made six first-team appearances for the Red Devils last season (TransferMarkt), having suffered frequent and lengthy injuries since sustaining a crucial ligament rupture in April 2017.
But Manchester United were keen on striking a permanent deal, and placed a £25m asking price (Daily Star) on the Estudiantes product, as he has a potential three years remaining on his contract at Old Trafford.
Rojo has now gone on record suggesting negotiations had progressed to leave the one-time FA Cup winner set to join Everton, only to see the move collapse late on, when Manchester United pulled the plug.
“It’s difficult to leave when you are in such a big club,” he told Ole. “I had the possibility of Everton, but, by decisions of the club or the manager, it wasn’t possible. ”
Rojo now faces a difficult few months at Old Trafford given his place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s pecking order, which boasts six senior centre-backs including world-record signing Harry Maguire (BBC), and has conceded he may look for a move in the winter if he is not selected more frequently.
“Now I have to fight until December and if it doesn’t work out, I will try to leave,” he added. “The [World Cup] qualifiers and the Copa America are coming and I want to be part of that.
“I don’t want to be out [of the squad] again, I want to exhaust all the possibilities and compete to be here.”
Rojo missed the 2018 World Cup in Russia through his crucial ligament rupture and is yet to feature for Manchester United this season in a competitive game (TransferMarkt).
It would not be unlikely that Everton are monitoring Rojo’s situation at Old Trafford over the next few months with an eye on returning with a revised bid in January, but whether they should or not remains to be seen.
Keane and Mina are currently faring respectably as Silva’s first-choice centre-back pairing and boast one of the best defensive records in the Premier League (WhoScored). However, they are yet to face a side that has found a consistent goal presence.
Upcoming encounters with Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur before a tricky festive period featuring Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal in consecutive games will paint a far clearer picture as to whether or not Director of Football Marcel Brands needs to target a first-team ready alternative in the winter, while Mina enjoying a clean bill of health is also a vital factor.
The Colombian missed much of his maiden season at Goodison Park with various gripes, and a repeat this season will offer Holgate almost a baptism of fire having been resigned to the fringes (TransferMarkt) so far under Silva.
Everton fans, should Rojo be on your club’s radar in the New Year? Let us know in the comments below…
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