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Van Gaal to target Rojo and Di Maria

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Argentina's Angel di Maria (7) and Marcos Rojo (16) celebrate with Lionel Messi in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Pic: Martin Meissner

Argentina's Angel di Maria (7) and Marcos Rojo (16) celebrate with Lionel Messi in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Pic: Martin Meissner

Argentina's Angel di Maria (7) and Marcos Rojo (16) celebrate with Lionel Messi in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Pic: Martin Meissner

LOUIS VAN GAAL hopes to sign the Argentina defender Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon for £16m and is renewing his interest in Angel di Maria after the Real Madrid forward's proposed transfer to Paris Saint-Germain fell through.

The Dutchman is also considering a move for Ajax's Daley Blind, all of which underlines the manager's determination to strengthen his Manchester United squad considerably in the final daysof the transfer window ahead of its close in just over two weeks time.

Rojo is a left-sided defender who can operate at centre-back, possesses considerable pace and is only 24, so fits the ideal of a Van Gaal player. The manager wants to deploy him at wing-back in his proposed 3-5-2 system or in the centre of defence.

Given his considerable international experience - Rojo played all 120 minutes of the World Cup final last month and was named in the team of the tournament - Van Gaal would have no qualms regarding his ability to adapt to the Premier League. The former Estudiantes player also has experience of Russian football, having spent the 2011-12 season at Spartak Moscow.

While Rojo's contract may contain third-party elements that can be common for players in Portuguese football, there is confidence at United that this will not be a problem. Reports in Portugal also suggested that Rojo had refused to train yesterday to force his transfer through.

Van Gaal opened his Old Trafford account last night with a 2-1 friendly win over Spanish side Valencia.

Wayne Rooney missed a first-half penalty, but Darren Fletcher side-footed home in the 50th minute to give his side the lead. However, Rodrigo Moreno equalised for Valencia in the 70th minute. But substitute Marouane Fellaini hit the winner - his first for the club - in the last minute after a mix-up in the Valencia defence.


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