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Sporting Lisbon coach speaks out over Marcos Rojo to Manchester United situation

Marcos Rojo - Portugal Vs Argentina, 9th February 2011

Row over Manchester United linked star is affecting the Sporting Lisbon preparations for this coming weekend.

Manchester United's efforts to sign Marcos Rojo are complicated by a complex situation.

Detailed by The Guardian, Rojo has a release clause of €24 million, he is part owned by a management company in direct legal dispute with Sporting Lisbon, and his former club Spartak Moscow are owed 20 per cent of the fee thanks to a sell-on clause.

In short, it is not the sort of deal Manchester United fans will feel their perceived-to-be bungling chief executive Ed Woodward can pull off easily.

Rojo has however backed himself into a corner. Told by his agents that United's interest is genuine, the Argentine international defender has gone on strike, and refused to train for the past two days in an effort to force a move.

For Sporting, second placed finishers in Portugal's Primeira Liga last season ahead of Porto, it is an unwanted situation to deal with as they prepare to get their season underway, with Algerian forward Islam Slimani also the subject of disciplinary action as he seeks to secure a move away.

Scheduled to kick off their league campaign this weekend away at Academia, new coach Marcos Silva has addressed the goings on in his pre-game press conference.

Reported by Portuguese newspaper O Jogo, he said: "It was not an easy week, there is no need to hide that. These cases are never easy to manage, but we must be prepared. When these situations exist in a team, it always affects (us) a bit.

"I do not consider (it) pleasant, I do not hide that. But these things happen. We must be able to react and show on Saturday that it did not affect us. Technically, I have been saying that they are key players for us. Let us see how we will solve these cases."

With breakout defender Eric Dier sold to Tottenham this summer, Rojo's walkout has placed an added uncertainty on who will start in defence at the weekend, and Marcos Silva will be hoping he can turn the situation around.

The complexity of the deal, and Sporting getting back underway this weekend, could lead to the Argentine making a u-turn, if United cannot push it through.

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