Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo has returned to Argentine club Estudiantes on a short-term loan deal.

Rojo, who was close to joining Everton on the final day of the close-season transfer window, has found opportunities difficult to come by at United this term.

The 29-year-old, signed for £16million from Sporting CP in 2014, has now left Old Trafford, returning to Estudiantes – where he started his career – on loan until the end of the campaign.

Able to play at centre-back or left-back, Rojo has struggled with injuries during his time at United and made 76 Premier League appearances in total.

Estudiantes, who sit 12th in Superliga Argentina, were the first to announce a deal had been struck, posting a video to their official Twitter page along with the caption: "You always return to the places where you were happy. Because of the sense of belonging, it's stronger.

"Your dream and that of the Pincha family has come true. We meet again. Welcome and thanks for coming back, Marcos. We welcome you with our hearts."

United, whose manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had said on Tuesday he did not expect to see Rojo leave prior to Friday's transfer deadline, subsequently confirmed the defender's temporary departure.

Estudiantes welcomed Rojo's former Argentina team-mate Javier Mascherano to the club at the start of the month.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continues to be linked with a move from Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are the latest European heavyweight reportedly interested in the forward.

Aubameyang, 30, is reportedly a target for Barcelona after scoring 16 goals in 26 games for struggling Arsenal this season.

However, with Edinson Cavani potentially leaving, PSG are also eyeing the Gabon international.

 

TOP STORY – PSG INTERESTED IN AUBAMEYANG AMID BARCELONA LINKS

PSG are considering a move for Aubameyang, according to Foot Mercato.

Cavani may leave the Ligue 1 giants for Atletico Madrid during this transfer window and Aubameyang could be his replacement, the report says.

PSG are reportedly discussing a loan with an option to buy Aubameyang.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Emirates Stadium, Arsenal are close to a deal for Flamengo defender Pablo Mari, according to ESPN and other reports. The Premier League club will reportedly pay £8.4million (€10m) for the Spaniard.

- Marcos Rojo could be on his way out of Manchester United. After just three Premier League appearances this season, the defender is heading back to Estudiantes – where he started his career – on loan, according to the Mirror.

- Carles Perez is set to join Roma. Sky Sport Italia reports the Barcelona forward will join the Serie A club on loan until the end of the season, with a mandatory purchase option for €13m to be part of the deal.

- Inter are already preparing for a period of dominance, including next season. Sport Italia reports Napoli star Lorenzo Insigne has been offered to Inter, who may land the forward ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

- Inter and Napoli seem to have a decent relationship. CalcioMercato reports Matteo Politano will swap Milan for Naples, where he will sign a deal until 2024 with a medical set for Monday.

- Mauricio Pochettino remains without a job after being sacked by Tottenham in November. The Mirror reports Spurs will be entitled to £10m in compensation if the Argentinian finds another job before the end of the season.

Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo is a target for Estudiantes and they are "working" on his signing, according to the Argentine club's sporting director Juan Sebastian Veron.

Rojo joined United from Sporting CP in 2014 but has rarely been considered first choice, with injuries a regular problem for him, while he has also seemingly failed to convince incumbent manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

This season the 29-year-old has featured just three times in the Premier League and media reports suggest United are actively trying to offload the centre-back, who is said to be on a wage of around £130,000-a-week.

Argentina international Rojo came through Estudiantes' academy and represented the first team before leaving for a brief spell with Spartak Moscow prior to joining Sporting.

But his family are reportedly eager to return to Argentina, and Veron – a former United player – is hopeful of being able to strike a deal.

He is quoted as saying by La Nacion: "Hopefully United can see that there is no economic issue that we can match, but that it [the deal] happens in other ways and that we can attract him. We are working so that he can come back.

"He has everything to keep playing Europe, but he wants continuity."

Estudiantes president Juan Sebastian Veron confirmed talks have taken place with Vissel Kobe captain Andres Iniesta over a switch to the Argentine club.

Spanish great Iniesta has been linked to a reunion with former Barcelona team-mate Javier Mascherano at Estudiantes.

The 35-year-old Iniesta – contracted to Vissel until 2021 – has called Japan home since leaving LaLiga giants Barca in 2018.

Amid growing links to Estudiantes – where ex-Barca defender Gabriel Milito is head coach – after Mascherano arrived from Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortuna, Veron insisted negotiations are yet to take place.

"Today, we can't say that there are negotiations with Iniesta," Veron told La Oral Deportiva. "[But] yes, there are talks.

"[Trying to sign] Iniesta is something that people will not forget about, regardless of whether it materialises or not."

Veron added: "Having Javier in the club is an important fact, not only for Estudiantes but also for Argentine football, for all that he is as a person and a professional."

Iniesta has scored 10 goals since joining Vissel, who also boast Lukas Podolski, Thomas Vermaelen and Sergi Samper, while David Villa retired at the end of the season.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is coveted at the Santiago Bernabeu.

His French connection with Zinedine Zidane means there is constant speculation.

However, Pogba is set to remain at United for the time being.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID GIVE UP ON POGBA… FOR NOW

LaLiga giants Real Madrid will not sign Manchester United star Paul Pogba in January, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Pogba – still recovering from injury – continues to be linked with Madrid amid doubts over his United future.

Madrid, however, recognise there is "no chance" of prising the Frenchman from Old Trafford in the New Year.

 

ROUND-UP

- A return to Chelsea for Bournemouth's Nathan Ake looks likely, claims Bleacher Report. Chelsea have a £40million buyback clause for Ake, who left Stamford Bridge permanently in 2017. Manchester City have also been linked to the 24-year-old defender.

- Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo has turned down a move to Milan, reports RMC. The 19-year-old has also been linked to Ligue 1 outfit Monaco and Premier League giants Manchester United.

- Qatari outfit Al Rayyan have re-opened talks with Juventus regarding the transfer of out-of-favour striker Mario Mandzukic, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. United and Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund are also reportedly interested in the veteran Croatian.

Napoli have offered Dries Mertens a two-year contract extension, says Sky Sport Italia. The Belgian, who is out of contract at season's end, has been the subject of reported interest from Dortmund.

- Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain want to swap Leandro Paredes for Juventus midfielder Emre Can, reports the Daily Mail.

- La Nazione says Fiorentina are looking to bring former Milan striker Patrick Cutrone back to Serie A. The Italian left San Siro for Premier League side Wolves at the start of the season.

- Former Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta is in talks to join Javier Mascherano at Argentine outfit Estudiantes. Iniesta currently plays for Vissel Kobe in Japan, however, TNT Sports claims the 35-year-old midfielder could move in 2020.

Former Barcelona and Argentina star Javier Mascherano has agreed to join Primera Division side Estudiantes.

The 35-year-old left Barcelona at the end of the 2017-18 season to sign a deal with Chinese Super League outfit Hebei China Fortune.

He has made 53 appearances for the club over the past two seasons but will now make a return to Argentina 14 years after leaving River Plate for Brazilian side Corinthians.

Estudiantes announced the deal on social media alongside a video of president and former Seleccion team-mate Juan Sebastian Veron dining with Mascherano.

"We have travelled 19,000km to welcome Javier to the Pincha family," the club wrote on Twitter. "Estudiantes is your home, Mascherano."

Mascherano retired from international duty after the 2018 World Cup, having amassed a national record 147 caps.

Estudiantes are seventh in the Primera Division after picking up 22 points from their opening 13 games.  

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