Sources: Rojo hands in transfer request to join Manchester United

Marcos Rojo was a major force in Argentina's World Cup run this summer.

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Argentina left back Marcos Rojo has handed in a transfer request to Sporting Lisbon and told the Portuguese club he wants to leave for Manchester United, Sky Sports sources understand.

Southampton were previously rumored to be leading the Premier League chase for the 24-year-old before he was linked heavily to United over the weekend. Saints boss Ronald Koeman said: "We are interested in Rojo but the transfer is a question for the chairman and (executive director) Les Reed."

Rafael Benitez’s Napoli are interested in taking Rojo to Serie A but new United manager Louis van Gaal is thought to want cover and competition for England left back Luke Shaw, 19, at Old Trafford. Rojo did not train with Sporting on Tuesday but United have yet to comment on reports in Portugal which suggest a £16million offer has been lodged for the World Cup runner-up.

United has now entered the fray and made an offer of around £20 million and, while it is still some way short of what the Portuguese giant wants, Rojo has learned of the Old Trafford club’s interest and is very much keen on the move. Rojo, who can play centrally or on the left, impressed during the World Cup and was a regular feature for Argentina in its run to the final, where the team lost to Germany.

A source confirmed to Goal: "Rojo knows United have now come in and things have changed — he wants to move to Manchester."

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Earlier in the week, Ajax defender Daley Blind says he would consider a move to Manchester United if manager van Gaal decides to make a bid for him. The 24-year-old is reportedly a target for van Gaal, who coached the player during his time as boss of the Dutch national team.

This comes after another of the United manager’s reported targets, Thomas Vermaelen, joined Barcelona for £15 million from Arsenal. Blind revealed that he was happy at Ajax but admitted he had heard of the interest from the Red Devils.

“I am happy here in Amsterdam,” Blind said. “But if there comes another club I will have to think about it and then we will see. I will think about my options. For now I will focus on Ajax and we will see what happens next week.”

Information from Goal.com was used in this report.