A little more than a week ago, Manchester United confirmed the £16 million transfer of Sporting Lisbon defender, Marcos Rojo.
Shortly after the Argentina international was announced as a member of the twenty-time champions of England, United manager Louis van Gaal revealed that the 24-year-old would not be included in his squad against Sunderland because the player was unable to finalize his work permit.
Today, the Dutch boss confirmed that the situation has taken longer than he would have hoped and Rojo has now traveled to Spain in order to secure his work permit.
Van Gaal said: “Rojo is working on his permit. He has to go abroad for that.”
“The difference between Angel Di Maria and Rojo is he [Di Maria] has an Italian passport and Rojo does not.”
“He [Rojo] has an Argentinian passport and he has to work for it. Now he is abroad in Madrid to work in the embassy of Madrid, but it takes more time than we expected.”
Rojo is facing a race against the clock and is in danger of missing this weekend’s league match against Burnley.
It is also being reported by the Press Association Sport that the Premier League is still working with United to ensure that the player’s registration can be completed.
As of now, the transfer has yet to be ratified by the English league due to complications regarding Rojo’s third party ownership.
Doyen Sports owned 75% of the player because the agency paid most of the defender’s transfer fee when he moved from Spartak Moscow to Sporting in 2012. As a result, Doyen feel they are entitled to the majority of the fee United paid to the Portuguese side.
But Sporting severed their relationship with the agency prior to the agreement with United, because they felt Doyen had tried to force Rojo’s sale to the Premier League club (by telling him not to train).
United assumed the matter had been resolved and completed negotiations for the versatile defender. But Premier League rules state that all third-party must be bought out in order for a player to be registered.
So it remains to be seen whether or not Rojo will be cleared to play for United this weekend.