Manchester United confirm Marcos Rojo stance before European transfer window closes
Rojo, 28, was the subject of interest from Everton on deadline day for Premier League clubs and turned up at United’s Carrington training complex with his representative. However, Everton wanted to sign Rojo on loan whereas United were keen on a permanent deal.
The only United centre-back who played more minutes than Rojo during pre-season was Victor Lindelof but, following the £80million arrival of Harry Maguire, Solskjaer selected Axel Tuanzebe ahead of the Argentina international for the matchday squad against Chelsea last week.
Including this year, United have tried to sell Rojo in four of the last five summers and in the one they didn’t he was recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury. United travel to Wolves and Southampton, with the visit of Crystal Palace sandwiched in between this month, before the September 2 European deadline and Solskjaer stressed he would have no qualms about calling upon Rojo.
“Yes, definitely. Why shouldn’t I?” Solskjaer said. “He’s had a very good pre-season. I think he’s getting closer and closer to the Argentinian setup as well, so let’s see what the future will bring.”
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones were also overlooked for the matchday squad against Chelsea and the former was unused in half of United’s pre-season friendlies.
Smalling and Jones signed new contracts last year but United intend on playing out from the back as part of their new style change, and Smalling was axed from the England squad nearly two years ago on account of his suspect distribution.
Solskjaer again accepted he had too many centre-backs even without long-term absentee Eric Bailly (knee) and challenged the reserve centre halves to give him selection dilemmas.
“I’m sure both Chris and Phil and Marcos and Axel will be capable of playing here,” Solskjaer added. “That’s why they’re here. I’ve got no reason to pick players that I don’t think are going to fit into the way we are going to play.
“That will be for us to work out, and of course I do have too many centre-backs to keep everyone happy. But we need to win games, we need to perform, so we’re going to pick the players that will give us the biggest chance to win games.
“They’re all quality centre-backs and I know that we will need quite a few of them. Of course, Eric’s injury means that at the moment I’ve got six fit ones, which is maybe one too many to keep everyone involved.
“But then that’s our jobs, to make the most of what we have now, and for them as well to make sure every day in training. And when they get the chance – because they will, we’ve got loads of games – play well when you get it.
“All of these, Marcos, Phil, Chris… they’ve been here for a long time and they’ve proven that they can do it.”