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United close in on £16m defender

marcos rojoManchester United are hopeful to sign Argentina defender Marcos Rojo, as Louis Van Gaal seeks to address his shortage of options in defence.

The Sporting Lisbon defender could cost United around £16m and United don’t consider his contract to be too much of a problem, even though, as it’s common practice in Portuguese football, it might involve third parties.

Earlier on Tuesday afternoon,the Guardian reported that United have shown interest in the Argentinian, who was in Argentina’s line-up against Germany last month, as the South Americans lost 1-0 to a Mario Gotze goal.

Reports in Portugal suggested that Rojo refused to training on Tuesday and will force a transfer to United over the next couple of days.

Rojo was named in the team of the tournament and with Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling as only options at centre-back after the departure of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, United desperately need to bolster their options at the back.

Mats Hummels and Thomas Vermaelen had both been identified as targets by Van Gaal, but the former is expected to remain at Borussia Dortmund after Jurgen Klopp handed him the captain’s armband and declared the German international “unsellable”, while the latter joined Barcelona last week.

A versatile defender who can operate at centre-back in both a three and a four-man defence, Rojo is quick and tactically diligent and the 24-year-old should fit Van Gaal’s 3-5-2 without particular problems, given he’s previously occupied the role for Argentina.

Meanwhile, the United manager is also monitoring Holland’s international Daley Blind, whose ability to play at left-back, left wing-back and central midfielder, particularly considering United have only Darren Fletcher, Ander Herrera and Tom Cleverley to choose from in midfield.

Michael Carrick is currently nursing an injury, while Marouane Fellaini and Anderson don’t feature in Van Gaal’s plans, therefore United must bolster their options in the middle of the park.