Sporting Lisbon has ‘sanctioned’ Manchester United target Marcos Rojo for his refusal to train and amid reports that the player handed in a transfer request yesterday.
On Tuesday, the Portuguese newspaper O’ Jogo broke a story saying United had tabled a bid of around £16million for the 24-year-old defender.
Later in the day, further reports surfaced stating that Sporting had turned down the initial offer from the Premier League club, leading Rojo to submit a transfer request and refuse to train.
Today, the Portuguese club’s president, Bruno de Carvalho, has told Sporting TV that both Rojo and his teammate Islam Slimani (who has also been the subject of transfer rumors) are “subject to strong disciplinary measures.”
De Carvalho said:
“They will not play next weekend. This will take as long as it takes. If something doesn’t change, you’re going to end up with the players seeing out their contracts.
“They can watch the game on television. On Saturday, against Academica, we will play to win and we will win. There is no player bigger than the club. I would not give up the honour, the club’s history, for the attitudes of anyone.
“I give a piece of advice: don’t use the press, be professional. These two, in defense of our magnificent group, must be removed. They are subject to strong disciplinary measures. Both players have taken decisions that have caused sharp indiscipline at Sporting.
“A message: any player who does not follow the rules of the club can have illusions and pretensions, but with the way these two did things, the situation is just complicated.”
Rojo began his career at the age of ten when he joined Estudiantes de La Plata. He spent eleven years with the Argentina side, winning the Copa Libertadores and Argentine Primera Division, before moving to Spartak Moscow in December 2010.
The defender made limited time of his stay in Russia before moving to Portugal in July 2012. Since then he has made 49 appearances for the legendary Portuguese club, while scoring five goals.
Rojo has also been a member of the Argentina national team since 2011, making 28 appearances for La Albiceleste.