It seems that Jose Mourinho has discovered the same problem that Louis van Gaal had when he took the job as manager of Manchester United in 2014, namely that he needed to move on several members of his first team squad. The issue was that their wages at United were prohobitively high, which meant that the likes of Tom Cleverley, Shinji Kagawa and Danny Welbeck didn’t leave Old Trafford until quite late on in that summer’s transfer window.
At this stage, Mourinho appears to have hit upon that same stumbling block, at least according to Duncan Castles’ writing in the Daily Record. Marcos Rojo has been a name persistently put forward as one of United’s most likely exits this summer, with the Argentine failing to nail down a first team place since his transfer from Sporting Lisbon in 2014.
Castles’ article today points towards interest from AS Monaco for the centre back, however:
“The Old Trafford manager has been attempting to reduce the size of his senior squad in order to make room for the recruitment of new defenders.
United told Rojo he was free to find himself new employers at the beginning of the summer window, indicating that they would accept a fee of €12million for his transfer.
The Argentina international subsequently rejected an offer to join Shanghai SIPG of the Chinese Super League, and has been unable to find a European club willing to match hisManchester United salary.
To improve his central defensive options, Mourinho is considering a number of options, including Southampton captain Jose Fonte. The subject of a £9m offer from Everton, the Portuguese European Championship winner last week publicly expressed his interest in joining his countryman at Old Trafford.”
The signing of Jose Fonte by United this summer may well be dependant on whether Mourinho can offload another defender, with Phil Jones also in scope for a move away from Old Trafford. Rumours for the England international leaving the club have been minimal, however.
Rojo has struggled on a number of levels since his move from Portugal. For a start, a host of injuries have meant that he’s only recorded 53 appearances for the club in two seasons, whilst last season inparticular, his play was characterised by poor touches, positioning and an all-round lack of quality at left back as he frequently filled in for the injured Luke Shaw. As such, moving Rojo on, regardless of if Fonte arrives at Old Trafford or not, would be wise, as he isn’t likely to see much football under Mourinho.