Saturday 16 February 2019

Rojo facing exit as Man United plan overhaul in defence - with Napoli star a top target

 

'Rojo (p) is considered the most expendable among the club's five central defenders.' Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images
'Rojo (p) is considered the most expendable among the club's five central defenders.' Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

James Ducker and Matt Law

Marcos Rojo is likely to be the first casualty of Manchester United's plans to strengthen their defence.

United's priority in the transfer market is to sign a pedigree centre-back with Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly a leading target to replace the Argentinian.

The Red Devils are likely to have to wait until the summer to swoop for the 27-year-old but they will attempt to bring him in this month.

Rojo is considered the most expendable among the club's five central defenders. He left United's Dubai training camp last week to return home to Argentina, with interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitting the player needed to clear his head after a series of injury troubles which have restricted him to just 149 minutes of action this season.

Rojo's fitness problems have complicated the prospect of him being sold this month but the defender, who will be 29 in March, is likely to make way in the summer. Other players, including Milan Skriniar, 23, at Inter Milan and Porto's Eder Militao, 20, have also been scouted.

Meanwhile, Chelsea hope to get the green light to move forward with a deal to sign Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain by the end of the week.

Higuain is with the AC Milan squad for tonight's Italian Super Cup final in Jeddah, against his parent club Juventus. It is understood that Higuain has made it clear that he wants to cut short his loan at Milan to link up with his former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri.

Chelsea have been in negotiations with both Milan and Juve and hope to hear in the coming days that they can push ahead with a move for the 31-year-old. The Stamford Bridge club are willing to allow Alvaro Morata to leave once they secure a replacement.

Irish Independent

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