Man Utd & Argentina defender Marcos Rojo seals Estudiantes return

Marcos Rojo will make an emotional return to Estudiantes after a loan move with Manchester United was agreed.

The 29-year-old is desperate for more playing time ahead of another Copa América this year and has accepted a pay cut to push through a move back to La Plata.

After weeks of speculation Estudiantes confirmed the transfer on Thursday: “You always return to the places where you were happy.

“Because the sense of belonging is stronger. Your dream and that of the Pincha Family comes true. We are reunited. Welcome and thanks for coming back, Marcos! We welcome you with the heart!”

Rojo becomes the second 2014 World Cup finalist to join Estudiantes with the Pincha already signing Javier Mascherano during this window.

Mascherano’s popularity in Argentina stems from his record amount of appearances with the national team and despite now being 35 years of age it was still seen as a coup for Estudiantes.

But to bring Rojo back to the club, the club where he progressed through the academy to make his senior debut in 2008 even if only on a six-month loan is significant.

Despite making only one Premier League appearance for Manchester United this season, Rojo signed a new deal with the Red Devils in 2018 that runs until 2021 and almost joined Everton in the previous transfer window. Still shy of his 30th birthday, there would presumably be further opportunities in Europe at this stage of his career.

A permanent transfer somewhere will likely follow Rojo’s return to Old Trafford at the end of the season and for now Rojo’s focus is getting back out on the pitch and reclaiming his Argentina spot.

Left out of Lionel Scaloni’s 2019 Copa América squad, Rojo returned for friendlies in September and October before injury prevented further appearances before the end of the year.

Admittedly those displays did little to suggest Rojo warrants a place in the Albiceleste squad but with regular playing time and the defender’s versatility to operate centrally or at left-back in a three or four-man defence, the door is certainly not shut.

After a largely disappointing 2019 Estudiantes president Juan Sebastían Verón is overseeing a positive change at the club. Manager Gabriel Milito has them sitting 12th but only five points off second and the opening of the Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi has given Estudiantes their historic home back.

Rojo, another part of the club’s history, from when Verón captained the side to the 2009 Copa Libertadores (though admittedly had yet to really break into the team during that campaign), will be presented to supporters on Saturday at the stadium before the game with Unión.