Rojo to Manchester United, agent wades in, player promised move this summer

Marcos Rojo's unusual contract situation has been brought to the attention of the wider football following public since Manchester United began to be linked with the player last week. However, it was still the same situation when it was Southampton being linked and overnight it's somewhat blown up.

First it's best to have a calm recap on what the situation was when Southampton's last bid was rejected and how it was being reported then, before the media suddenly knew everything about Marcos Rojo. Here's how we covered Southampton's bid rejection at the end of last week:

'Doyen own 75% of Rojo's rights and they wanted longer to think whether €17m was a big enough offer, or whether they'd be better off holding out for more... either this summer or in a future transfer window.

O Jogo report on Saturday that a decision has been made, and that's to reject the €17m offered by Southampton. It's the second Rojo bid from Southampton that has been turned down, with their initial €12m being rejected out of hand earlier on in the week.

Should Southampton now want to sign Rojo, they'll have to pay €20m. Even at that price, Sporting would have been prepared to keep the player for longer, because they'd still only receive €5m, but O Jogo say a bid of €20m will make the transfer happen.

The €20m which Sporting and Doyen require converts to £16m, it may be considered a fairer price for the 24 year old. Rojo is an Argentina international and started the World Cup final for them, he's been linked to some of Europe's top clubs so the initial €12m (£9.6m) looked optimistic to say the least and Southampton are finding out that, just like they, some clubs want top fees for top players.'

Straight after that, almost instantly, began rumours that Manchester United were interested in the player. The stakes were raised and Southampton somewhat pushed to one side, claims in Portugal said that Rojo himself hadn't been 'seduced' by the prospect of joining Southampton.

However, that then changed to reports, in Portugal, of Rojo wanting the move, and then Manchester United interest was more widely reported.

Sporting Lisbon president Bruno de Carvalho then took the step of publicly crticising Rojo and announcing that, for now, he wouldn't be considered part of the club's squad and would not be picked for the match this weekend. Or any further matches until things changed.

The president banged on about Rojo having a three year contract and about unreasonable influences from agents, stating that Sporting would not be bullied into selling the player. At the same time reports in the British press were stating Sporting would have to accept a deal or pay Doyen at least some of what they would have received from a transfer.

Doyen have now come out and denied that they have such influence over a sale being made but they're angered by Bruno de Carvalho's comments and reveal that Rojo was told he'd be allowed to leave the club before the odds changed, and Sporting decided they wanted more money.

De Carvalho is not the the downtrodden guardian of honour that he's trying to paint himself as. Sporting have had issues with several players since he took over as president. Recently, Eric Dier felt the force of that with De Carvalho painting the youngster as a bad guy to the Portuguese press, after his transfer to Tottenham Hotspur. 

Dier had wanted a Spurs move anyway but De Carvalho's proposal to keep him was to offer him reasonable wages and plonk a 45m Euro clause on his head. Dier didn't want that, he didn't think anyone would ever pay such a fee and so his future would be taken out of his hands. William Carvalho has the same clause and has been paid relative peanuts. Sporting's best player last season and probably the best in the country, Carvalho was paid less than some second-hand car salesmen.

Whilst De Carvalho may try to paint a picture of Sporting being bullied by Doyen, the Portuguese club themselves have no duty of care to their own players and if they don't get what they want, like with Dier, they've shown a willingness to whine. 

It's a mess from all sides but Doyen are probably correct, third party ownership isn't the only problem here. Sporting simply want more than they contractually agreed to receive and are therefore stamping their feet. They also appear to be changing the asking price, upwards of course.

Manchester United interest came at a convenient time to pressure Southampton and may therefore not be entirely true. With the leaks coming from Sporting to the Portuguese press it's simply impossible to tell which is spot on and which designed to help someone along the line get more money. Similar happened, and will happen again, with William Carvalho.

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