There were early concerns regarding the potential transfer because Rojo is only part-owned by the Portuguese club. The sports investment group, Doyen Sports, owns 75 percent of the player’s economic rights. They acquired such a strong holding with Rojo because the group paid 75 percent of his transfer fee when he moved from Spartak Moscow to Sporting in 2012.
In the past, third party ownership such as this have been an issue in transfer negotiations. But the early word from sources inside Manchester United was that the club remained “confident” there would not be any issues.
It has been reported that the Argentina international favors a move to the twenty-time champions of England, but Sporting rejected Manchester United’s initial offer for the 24-year-old defender. This lead to the player protesting by refusing to train with the club.
The Portuguese side have since “sanctioned” the player and stated they will not include him during this weekend’s match against Academica,
More reports surfaced earlier today indicating a row had broken out between the representatives and part-owners of Marcos Rojo and his current club Sporting Lisbon.
Doyen Sports hit back at Sporting’s stance and threatened legal action if fees due to it from any rejected bid were not paid. The group stated that they were entitled to a payment from Sporting worth 75% of any declined offer for Rojo.
Since the speculation is United have offered £16m for the defender, Sporting would own Doyen Sports £12m. (It has also been learned that Spartak Moscow are owed 20% of any fee received for Rojo above £4m)
A statement released by the group reads: “Sporting is entirely within its rights not to transfer the player Marcos Rojo, knowing that it only has to make up for the fund under the terms and deadlines as contractually established since the beginning.”
It continued: “Doyen Sports will not hesitate to use all legal resources at our disposal to defend fully all our interests and rights.”
The statement added: “Without the intervention of Doyen, through financing, Marcos Rojo would not be a Sporting player.”
The Portuguese club responded by “terminating” their agreement with Doyen Sports. Sporting insisted they have had “just cause” to terminate their agreement with the company, therefore they do not intend to pay any fees.
Now, Sporting has detailed the reasons behind its termination of Doyen’s agreement by issuing a dramatic press release which claims individuals representing the sports group traveled to Portugal “posing” as officials from Manchester United, in an attempt to conclude the Rojo deal.
Part of the statement reads: “Follow the rejection of the proposal and a request for a meeting, that same club [Manchester United] made a surprise visit to Estádio José Alvalade, with that club thereby being received out of courtesy by an member Sporting’s Board of Directors.”
The statement continued: “Subsequently, Sporting became aware that Doyen took part in the resulting meeting, namely by convincing the member of Sporting’s board of Directors that the person in question was as member of the visiting club [Manchester United] and not in fact the CEO of Doyen. The situation was masked to such a degree that the person in question did not at any time speak in Portuguese, communicating at all times in the language used by the visiting club [Manchester United].”
The statement from Sporting goes on to claim that the CEO of Doyen Sports, Nelio Lucas, threatened to further disrupt the Portuguese club.
“In light of the seriousness of statements being made and falsities being communicated, we have been forced to reveal that at the beginning of the 13/14 season, that same CEO sent various abusive text messages to the president of Sporting, including one which stated in capital letters: ‘MARCOS ROJO IS GOING TO THE [FOREIGN CLUB]” and that “IF YOU DO NOT LET HIM HE WILL BEGIN TO CAUSE PROBLEMS IN THE ACADEMY’.”
This newest statement should spark more controversy and add to the circus which has enveloped Manchester United’s interest in the Argentina international, Marcos Rojo.
Regardless if Doyen Sports is in the picture or not, Sporting Lisbon are believed to be holding out for a bid closer to the defender’s £24m release clause from United.
Here is the full press release from Sporting Lisbon.